Ethiopia says Saudi Arabia to free 1,000 detained citizens

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia says more than 1,000 of its citizens will be released from detention centers in Saudi Arabia after a request by new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a visit to Riyadh.

Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate quotes government spokesman Ahmed Shide as saying the release will start Saturday.

Saudi Arabia began mass deportations of illegal migrants, including tens of thousands of Ethiopians and Somalis, in November after several months of warnings. Saudi authorities have said the kingdom detained around 250,000 people violating its residency laws in a crackdown.

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An estimated 400,000 Ethiopian migrants were believed to be living in Saudi Arabia as of late last year.

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