The EU- Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative known as the Khartoum Process established in 2015 to contain human trafficking and illegal migration which led by UK for the last one year elected Ethiopia to assume the leadership for the next one year.
Opening the inaugural ceremony of the power transition yesterday, Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu said Ethiopia is a country of origin, transit and destination of either voluntary or involuntary migrants, holds strategic place in the cooperation between Europe and the Horn of Africa.
Currently, it is hosting nearly 800, 000 refugees who fled their homes as a result of multiple problems in their countries of origin, he said, adding it is a transit country as many of the young refugees have tried to go to the second country.
According to Dr. Workneh, the question of unregulated migration is a national concern for Ethiopia. In this regard, the government has taken various measures to address the root causes of migration.
The Ethiopian National Council identified misinformation and unemployment as the main causes of migration and the government has come up with policy frameworks to address the plights of the youth, he said.
Efforts are underway to educate the youth to desist from dangerous journeys, he said, adding measures have been taken to break the criminal networks and around 1,000 traffickers and smugglers have faced justice.
He further said during its chairmanship of Khartoum Process, Ethiopia would work in collaboration with member countries.
The United Kingdom Foreign and Common Wealth Office Migration Adviser Sharp James said for his part the Khartoum Process agreement was endorsed by the EU and Horn of African Countries Mistrial meeting in Rome in 2015 to contain the large inflow of migrants from Horn of Africa.
He said previously, migration dialogue was made between the EU and countries such as Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh and Pakistan for it had long experience in this regard.
James further said people in the Horn of Africa forcefully leave their homes for various reasons and in this case they should get protection from host countries and should not face risky situation based on the conventions ratified by EU countries.
Turkey has been selected as safe country to shelter migrants from the Horn and the Middle East. In this regard, the EU provided Turkey with financial support to share the burden, he added.
The EU Commission Migration and Home Affairs Chairperson Rodriguez Galindo also said to deal with migration issues, all works should be articulated in the spirit of greater responsibility.
Noting that addressing the problem has more to do with bringing socioeconomic progress in the country of origin, the chairperson said EU provides not only financial but also political support to host and transitory countries.
The agreement between the EU and Horn African countries stipulates developing cooperation at bilateral and regional levels between countries of origin, transit and destination to tackle irregular migration and criminal networks.
©Alleastafrica and The Ethiopian Herld