Ethiopia, IOM to Work Closely in Repatriating, Rehabilitating Migrants

ADDIS ABABA – State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Birtukan Ayano, met with a top official of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Addis Ababa to discuss close collaboration in repatriating and rehabilitating migrants. 

The state minister and  Jian Zhao, acting Chief of Mission and Head of Special Liaison Office of the IOM, held their discussion on Friday.

The two are currently working together in the ongoing operation in repatriating hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia.

The operation saw more than 35, 000 Ethiopian migrants return home. Authorities are still pushing ahead with the effort to bring back tens of thousands of citizens who are still detained in Saudi Arabia for illegal entry.

During Friday’s discussion, state minister Birtukan appreciated the IOM for working closely with the government of Ethiopia in repatriating Ethiopian migrants,  providing them with post-arrival assistance to the returnees, and enabling their return home in safety and dignity.

Apart from Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Burtukan said the Government of Ethiopia has charted out plans to repatriate more than 12,000 from other Middle Eastern and African countries.

In connection with that, the state minister requested the IOM to extend its usual support to the planned repatriation process and that of the migrants upon their arrival.  

Zhao pledged to continue supporting the repatriation efforts of the Ethiopian government, reiterating the IOM’s assistance in providing returnees with food, temporary accommodation, medical assistance, counseling, and other services.

The two sides concluded their meeting pledging to work closely on the repatriation and rehabilitation of Ethiopian migrants, according to the ministry of foreign affairs.