Ethiopia repatriates 10,000 citizens in three weeks from Saudi Arabia

Ethiopia has repatriated around 10,000 undocumented citizens residing in Saudi Arabia between November 15 to December 5, an Ethiopian official said on Friday.

Speaking to Journalists, Meles Alem, spokesperson for the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said his ministry is undertaking rehabilitation work for its citizens who returned from the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia back in March had given a 90-day amnesty of undocumented migrants to voluntarily leave, but had extended the amnesty several times since then. More than 70,000 undocumented Ethiopian migrants took advantage of the Saudi amnesty which ended in June to return home.

However, it’s estimated several hundred thousand undocumented Ethiopian migrants still live in Saudi Arabia.

With a population currently at around 30 million and a squeeze in international oil price, Saudi Arabia is on a drive to indigenize its work force currently dominated by millions of illegal and legal migrants.

In a bid to curb illegal migration, Ethiopia signed last May an agreement with Saudi Arabia for an overseas employment agreement to help future legal Ethiopian migrants.

The Ethiopian government has also put advertorials in Ethiopian electronic media, urging relatives of Ethiopians illegally residing in Saudi Arabia to persuade them to return.

Source: Xinhua

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