Nation working vigorously to facilitate safe return of Ethiopians from Saudi

Addis Ababa, April 13, 2017 (FBC) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said it is working to facilitate the safe return of Ethiopians who have been living in Saudi Arabia without residence and work permits.

Saudi Arabia recently launched “a nation without violations” campaign to give people who have been living there 90 days to leave the country without penalties, including Ethiopians.

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

In a press conference he held today, Meles Alem, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted the various works being undertaken by the government of Ethiopia to return its citizen without any difficulty.

The government has been carrying out various activities to facilitate the smooth return of Ethiopians by establishing a Command Post, he told journalists.  

Recently, an Ethiopian delegation led by Dr Aklilu Gebremichael, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, traveled to Saudi Arabia and discussed on the issue with senior Saudi officials, the Spokesperson said.

After the discussion, the Saudi government opened new mobile offices which will allow Ethiopians to get visas easily to leave that country, Meles noted.

He further said discussions were also held with Ethiopian Embassy and Consulate in Riyadh and in Jeddah respectively, to facilitate the efficient issuance of travel documents and avoid possible challenges.   

Moreover, consultations were also held with members of Ethiopian communities residing in Saudi, he added.

About 4, 000 Ethiopians have so far taken travel documents and 200 of them have already arrived home, he said. The number of people arrived so far is below expectation, he said.

The Spokesperson finally urged media to do their parts in avoiding challenges which Ethiopians will face if they don’t leave voluntarily by acquainting them with the decision taken by the Saudi government to expel Illegal expatriates.

Translated and posted by Amare Asrat