83 Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Djibouti Return Home

ADDIS ABABA – About 83 Ethiopian migrants who were stranded in neighboring Djibouti have been repatriated this week.

The Ethiopian Embassy in Djibouti on Wednesday said the repatriation was carried out in partnership with International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The 83 returnees were stranded while heading for the Arabian Peninsula.

According to the Embassy of Ethiopia in Djibouti, some of the returnees were evacuated from Yemen – a country migrants use as transit on a journey to gulf nations.

The others changed their mind and refrained from crossing the sea to Yemen after reaching Djibouti, the Embassy said.

Upon their arrival in Addis, the returnees were offered accommodation, and counseling services at the Transit Center.

They will also be provided with further reintegration and economic assistance, according to embassy officials.

Apart from the efforts to bring back those stranded in Djibouti, IOM is working closely with the Government of Ethiopia in its ongoing operation to repatriate citizens from Saudi Arabia.

The operation to bring over 100,000 Ethiopian migrants back home started on March 30, 2022, following an agreement between the two countries.

To date, at least 72 000 Ethiopians, including mothers with young children, have been repatriated from the Gulf Nation.

Despite the recent drop in illegal migration, many 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.

Featured Image caption: Migrants arriving at the Addis Ababa Bole International airport. About 72 000 Ethiopian nationals, including mothers with young children, have been repatriated from Saudi Arabia since March 30, 2022. [Photo File]