Ethiopia repatriates 443 individuals from Saudi Arabia
The Government of Ethiopia on Tuesday repatriated 443 Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia who were facing hardship in Saudi prisons.
Out of the total returnees 119 are children, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, which facilitated the return of the Ethiopian migrants. Over the past few months, thousands of Ethiopians who were in Saudi Arabia jails have returned back to their motherland. Recently Saudi Arabia has been criticized for mass deportation of Ethiopians, which some Ethiopian Government officials described as abnormal.
Taking care of the thousands of migrants has put economic pressure on the Government of Ethiopia, which is currently spending millions of dollars in the fight against the aggression of Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) militia.
TPLF has admitted attacking the military base of Ethiopian national defense force last November, which led to the war between the Front and Ethiopian Federal government.
Since then, the war has led to the death of thousands on both sides along with huge economic cost especially to the Government of Ethiopia, which has indicated investing some 100 billion Birr (about $2.2 billion) to rehabilitate the war-torn Tigray region after the fighting began.
The deportation of thousands of Ethiopians by the U.S ally, Saudi Arabia, is considered by many Ethiopians as attempt to put pressure on the Government of Ethiopia. Meanwhile, Saudi claims that the immigrants have entered its territory illegally.
After TPLF, which has been on power in Ethiopia dominating the ruling coalition since May 1991 has lost its power in April 2018, the bilateral relation between Ethiopia and the United States has been deteriorating.
In the past few weeks leading the United States has imposed sanctions on the Abiy Ahmed Administration of Ethiopia accusing him of not allowing aid to Tigray Region and refusing to negotiate with the TPLF, which Ethiopian Parliament listed as a terrorist group.
TPLF, came to power in Ethiopia through arms struggle in May 1991 with the support of the Western Imperialist countries including the United Sates and Britain as well as some neighboring Arab countries, which were at odds with the then Marxist Derg Regime of Ethiopia led by Mengistu Hailemariam.
Many analysts of the regional politics of the Horn of Africa say, the United Sates and its allies are working to save their long-time partner – TPLF – by putting political and economic pressure of the Government of Ethiopia, neighboring Eritrea and Somalia, which have launched new peaceful partnership after Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018.