Ethiopian migrants from Saudi Arabia.
By Yohanes Jemaneh
Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that only 200 Ethiopians have been repatriated from Saudi Arabia following the Gulf country’s 90-day amnesty granted to nationals who want to return to their countries of origin.
In his regular briefing yesterday, Ministry Spokesperson Meles Alem said despite ministry’s adequate preparation, Ethiopian Embassy in Saudi provided travel documents to 4,000 citizens. The government expects more Ethiopians to report to the embassy and settle their return.
The ministry is doing its level best to ensure the safe return of Ethiopians via its embassy and a command post has also been established to foster the reparation, according to the spokesperson.
The members of the command post also traveled to Saudi and held discussion with senior officials of the country on how citizens can easily get exit visas. And temporary offices have also been opened to foster the process. The command post further conferred with Riyadh and Judah Missions on possible challenges related to issuing travel documents and their solutions.
Moreover, it reached a consensus with Ethiopian community associations and diaspora organizations on the facilitation of the safe return of citizens.
Meles said the media should play a critical role in informing citizens illegally residing in Saudi about the stiff measure the Saudi government would take if they fail to meet the deadline.
The proclamation A nation without Illegal Expatriates has put a grace period states that runaway workers, residents with expired work permits, over-stayers of Umrah and Hajj, among others, are illegals.
It thus orders the said illegals to leave the country between the months of March 29 and June 29, 2017 without paying fines but settling travel expenses on their own.
When the deadline is over, police would raid door-to-door and undocumented residents face fines and arrests.
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