Press Release on Irregular Migrants in KSA, 9 0ctober 2020

Release on Irregular Migrants in KSA, 9 0ctober 2020

The Government of Ethiopia (GoE)
would like to thank the international community for its concerns regarding
irregular migrants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The GoE is closely
working with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the repatriation and handling of
Ethiopian migrants ended up in Saudi Arabia crossing through Yemen.  The Ethiopian Embassy in Riyadh and its
Consulate in Jeddah are in the process of visiting the different detention
centers to produce a comprehensive report for action.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has informed us
that there is a continuous influx of migrants crossing the border that
exacerbates the already existing problem.

Since May 2017, approximately 400,000
Ethiopian irregular migrants (90% male, 10% female) have returned to Ethiopia
from the KSA following the announcement of the amnesty and the full coverage of
transport costs by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Among the returnees, almost 90%
have re-migrated- some of them, as many as 20 times.  The GoE does not want to repeat this
unfortunate mistake, which left our migrants, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as
well as Ethiopia, with no longlasting benefits, but a waste of resources and

As stated by the Human Rights Watch
report of last year, Ethiopia has continued to receive its most vulnerable
citizens from the Kingdom of Saudi (KSA). 
We are also pleased to state that we have already implemented most of the
recommendations in the report.  Accordingly,
we have identified and processed the data of 2000 women, infants, and minors
that we are receiving in batches of 300 for the 5th time in the last month, and
we will continue to do that.  The kingdom
of Saudi Arabia has covered all of the flight costs, while the GoE participated
in receiving, transiting, and reintegrating the migrants with the coordination
of sector Ministries and assistance of partners. The African Union, the
European Union, and the United Nations are among the primary partners working
with the GoE.

Per the request of the European
Parliament issued yesterday, October, 8th 2020, the GoE will continue to
address all humanitarian issues by closely working with the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia. The Government of Ethiopia remains committed to working on safe and
dignified repatriation of its citizens. 
The government’s priorities are the welfare of its citizens wherever
they are. In this regard, we have identified the gaps in safe and dignified
repatriation, proper data management, securing borders, as well as an orderly

The visit by EU High Representative
for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European
Commission, H.E. Josep Borrell Fontelles, and the EU Commissioner for Crisis
Management, H.E. Janez LENANCIC, provided us an enormous opportunity to
demonstrate the complexities of migration and underline the need to work on
proper reintegration to end cyclic remigration.     

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