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Ethiopia to repatriate 70,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia who are in difficult situation

Beginning in early April, around 70,000 Ethiopian citizens residing in Saudi Arabia will be repatriated.

The third project of its kind since 2018, according to State Minister Birtukan Ayano, is aimed at repatriating “Ethiopians who are in a difficult situation.”

The minister did not clarify if the returnees have been lawfully residing in Saudi Arabia during the announcement last week.

It is anticipated that local governments will see to it that the repatriates settle down in their original communities.

A government dispatch states that the costs of repatriation will include plane tickets, a brief stay at Addis Ababa’s transition facilities, and some cash for a fresh start.

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Approximately 917,000 refugees from nearby nations like Yemen are now being hosted by Ethiopia.

Four million Ethiopians are thought to have been displaced as a result of internal wars and natural disasters, according to data from the Ethiopian Refugees and Returnees Service, RSS.

However, there have been funding cuts meant for these groups.

On 22 March, RRS and the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR gathered stakeholders in Addis Ababa “with the intent to reach a common understanding on the rising fund cut for the refugee operation in Ethiopia and to stand together to respond to the crises thereon.”

They said they were “urging partners and donors to contribute the much-needed fund to respond to the burning needs of refugees and asylum seekers.”

Addis Ababa and Riyad reached an agreement in March 2022 to repatriate more than 100,000 of their people. It happened when human rights organisations charged Saudi Arabia with abusing migrant workers.

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Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson is an international writer with expertise in politics, business and public affairs.

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