Ethiopia envisages repatriating over 200,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia

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The Saudi government recently launched “a nation without violations” campaign to give people, people without legal document, a 90-day amnesty period to help them leave the country without suffering penalties.

By Muluneh Gebre, muluneh@alleastafrica.com

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia envisages repatriating more than 200,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia in less than two months, a government official has said.

Temesgen Omer, Middle East Affairs Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis, in a consultative meeting on Saturday said more than 3000 Ethiopians have so far returned, but more than 200,000 Ethiopians still live in Saudi Arabia without residence and work permits, and the government is actively working to repatriate them.

The Saudi government recently launched “a nation without violations” campaign to give people, people without legal document, a 90-day amnesty period to help them leave the country without suffering penalties.

According to the Saudi government, those illegal immigrants who failed to take advantage of the 90-day amnesty period will face certain deportation.

Temesgen said the government is preparing to warmly welcome citizens, and create jobs for them in collaboration with non-governmental organizations.

Meanwhile, non-governmental and governmental organizations in Ethiopia expressed their readiness to welcome and support Ethiopians returning from Saudi Arabia, at the consultative forum held on Saturday to discuss welcoming and the rehabilitation of returnees from Saudi Arabia.

The participants, including over ten local and international NGOs, as well as more than five governmental organizations, have agreed to work jointly to welcome and rehabilitate the returnees.

International Labour Organization project coordinator Ephrem Getnet stated that the ILO will support the returnees by providing a holistic social and economic support.

He added that UN ILO will work with various regional and federal organizations to help rehabilitate the returnees.

Nearly a month has gone since the kingdom announced the 90-day amnesty period to help migrants to leave the country without enduring deportation.

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