Ethiopians Repatriated from Saudi Arabia Reach 45,000

ADDIS ABABA – The number of Ethiopian migrants repatriated from Saudi Arabia has surpassed 45,000, officials said on Friday, after at least 3, 230 more citizens arrived this week.

Ethiopia is currently carrying out a repatriation operation to bring back tens of thousands of its citizens detained under harsh conditions in Saudi Arabia.

This week, ita officials conducted a total of nine flights after three planes aboard 1,113 people arrived at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on Friday.

The previous six flight operations carried out on Monday and Wednesday were able to return a combined total of 2100 back to their country.
The Ministry of Women and Labour Affairs (MoWLA) said most of the repatriates were male migrants, who were imprisoned in the Gulf state for illegal entry.

At least 25 unaccompanied migrant children and 17 women were also among the 3, 233 citizens airlifted from Saudi Arabia this week, the ministry’s report shows.

The returnees are now receiving support of various kinds in shelter centers, MoWLA said the ministry, ahead of sending them off to their respective localities.

The ongoing repatriation push was launched on March 30, 2022, with a target to repatriate at least 102,000 Ethiopians within eleven months.

About 45,325 of them have already been repatriated, said MoWSA, adding that the operation will continue next week. The operation involves receiving, rehabilitating, and sending returnees to their respective localities in dignity, officials said.