ADDIS ABABA – About 152 Ethiopian migrants who were stranded in Djibouti have returned to their country, said officials on Thursday.
The Ethiopian Embassy in Djibouti, in collaboration with the office of the International Organization for Migration, facilitated the return of the migrants over the last month.
Among the returnees, 50 are minors and children while 19 the vulnerable migrants are women, said the ministry of foreign affairs.
Some of the 152 repatriated Ethiopians entered Djibouti from Yemen, while the rest went to the neighboring nation with a plan to cross to the Middle East and changed their minds.
“The migrants, who use Djibouti as a transit point like other Ethiopian migrants, are exploited by human traffickers, hoping for quick success in the Middle East and Gulf countries,” the Ministry said.
Despite the recent drop in illegal migration, migrants from East Africa, mostly from Ethiopia, often risk their lives making the dangerous journey via the Gulf of Aden to Yemen in the hope of finding jobs in Saudi Arabia.
Most end up either stranded in Yemeni or Saudi Arabia’s detention centers due to their illegal status. Others also lose their lives while crossing the Red Sea to reach Yemen. A total of 118 people died in six boat capsizing accidents that occurred in the past three years.