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Ethiopia resumes repatriating 70,000 nationals from Saudi Arabia

Ameyu Etana
Saturday April 13, 2024

Authorities in Ethiopia have started returning migrants stranded in the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia by flying 842 of them on Friday.

The goal of this programme's third phase is to return 70,000 people in four months by operating 12 flights per week.

The government says they were in "difficult conditions" as most are undocumented and have been languishing in prisons and detention centres in the country.

However, the risk of them returning to Saudi is also high as thousands travel each year seeking better living conditions. Earlier this week, 38 Ethiopian migrants including children, died in a shipwreck off the Djibouti coast, Ethiopian officials said.

It is thought they could have been on their way to Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom hosts about 750,000 Ethiopian migrants, more than half of whom are believed to have entered the territory illegally, according to reports.


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