The Ethiopian government has disclosed the repatriation of more than 33,000 nationals from several foreign countries during the past three months as part of the ongoing efforts to curb the illegal migration of Ethiopians.
The East African country has received those nationals, including 700 minors, from foreign countries during the first quarter of the current Ethiopian 2019-2020 fiscal year that started on July 8, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ latest report.
Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew said the reported Ethiopian nationals were repatriated from more than 20 countries, where they were stranded in “very difficult situations.”
Andargachew also disclosed that the ministry is presently working to repatriate another 1,363 Ethiopians jailed in 24 prisons in Tanzania, as well as 150 others now staying in a refugee camp in Somalia’s autonomous region of Puntland.
The repatriation of Ethiopian migrants as well as prisoners were conducted through the joint efforts of the Ethiopian government and host countries as well as various international organizations, such as the UN International Organization for Migration, according to the ministry.
Amid ongoing efforts to curb illegal migration, the East African country had recently reached a labor agreement with various destination countries, such as Saudi Arabia, which includes soliciting jobs for skilled applicants. The country had also inked an agreement with Qatar which targeted legible Ethiopians to work in the country, with protection of their rights, according to the ministry.
Despite a growing economy and public awareness campaigns on the dangers of human trafficking by the Ethiopian government, it is estimated that thousands of Ethiopians are trafficked to Middle Eastern countries as well as other countries in Europe and South Africa, where they mainly engaged in the informal economy.
In addition to imprisonment and various other hurdles, desperate Ethiopian and other East African migrants also often encounter many deadly calamities as they attempt to cross the dangerous Red Sea route hoping to reach the Middle East via war-torn Yemen.