Ethiopia to repatriate 102,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia

The Government of Ethiopia said it is preparing to repatriate over 102,000 Ethiopians who are in dire situation in Saudi Arabia.

This is indicated during the consultation meeting on Monday on the draft action plan of repatriating the citizens presented by the national committee. The committee, which held its meeting in Addis Ababa, is chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

During the meeting its is indicated that repatriation of the over 102,000 Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia will take place within short period of time. Ambassador Birtukan Ayano, Sate Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia indicated that the ongoing preparations to receive the returnees include multiple agencies and aims to rehabilitate them after repatriation, according to the statement from the Ministry.

For final approval the action plan will be directed to the national committee that deals with prevention and control of human trafficking led by Deputy Prime Minister. Among the local state agencies involved in the team are – the Ministry of health, work and skills, justice, intelligence, general attorney general office, federal police, immigration, diaspora agency, public health institute, customs commission, among others.

Reports show that the Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia most of whom illegally entered the country are currently suffering in congested prisons. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2021 indicated that it has registered a total of 79,000 Ethiopians willing to return back to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia.

During the first two weeks of July 2021, the Government of Ethiopia has also announced repatriating 30,000 Ethiopians from Saudi.