Ethiopia recommences repatriating citizens from Middle East

The Government of Ethiopia has recommenced repatriation of its citizens stranded in the Middle East countries.

Using social media, Ethiopians in the Middle East have been urging their government to rescue them indicating that the outbreak of COVID-19 has made their lives which was in bad condition even worse. In response to the call the national ministerial committee against the spread of COVID-19 in Ethiopia today said it has finalized preparations to resume its repatriation operation, which was suspended after the outbreak of the global pandemic.

Coordinator of the National ministerial committee against COVID-19 and Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil told the state broadcaster ETV that Ethiopia has started repatriating its citizens from Lebanon today May 28, 2020. “…From Beirut a total of 669 people are expected to return home. Today 336 people will arrive. On Saturday the remaining will come,” she said.

She noted necessary preparations are made to host the returnees who will first go through the necessary quarantine process before joining their families. She indicated that the operation of bringing Ethiopians from the Middle East countries and reuniting them with their families involved the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Red Cross, among others.

In a related development, Ethiopians who have been out of work because of the global pandemic COVID-19 has begun today returning from Lebanon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia said. “The Ethiopian government’s decision to repatriate these people was made against the backdrop of complex problems they were forced to face living in Lebanon,” the Ministry said.

Next Saturday 320 Ethiopians are also expected to return from Lebanon. Last week 57 Ethiopians have also voluntarily returned from the United Arab Emirates, according to the Ministry.

The repatriation of Ethiopians from the Middle East who are facing hardships was began before the outbreak of coronavirus. Meanwhile the global pandemic has led to suspension of the operation of returning the Ethiopians back home.