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  • 4,000 Ethiopians ready for deportation

    A total of 4,000 illegal Ethiopians are ready for deportation, sources told Arab News on Friday.

    This comes in the wake of Saudi Arabia deporting 82 workers on Wednesday and 22 on Thursday.

    Muhammed Hassan Kabiera, Ethiopia’s ambassador, said the embassy was informed by Saudi officials that some 23,000 Ethiopians had so far handed themselves in. The authorities are now processing their paperwork.

    Under an agreement between the Ethiopian Embassy and the security agencies, the surrendered workers are being kept at various holding centers until they get exit visas.

    The embassy has opened a new center in Murabba to register Ethiopian citizens, and provide exit permits to those who failed to legalize their status during the grace period.

    Ethiopian workers have been involved in two clashes with the police and residents in Riyadh's Manfouha area over the past week, resulting in the death of three people and injury to several others.

    There was also a brief standoff with residents and the police in Jeddah on Thursday, when several Ethiopians gathered illegally at the deportation center demanding their repatriation. The Ethiopian Embassy has condemned the violence but also urged the authorities to speed up the processing of exit visas and residence permits of workers.

    Over the last two days, about 2,000 Ethiopians who handed themselves in were moved to the old Princess Noura University building where they were given blankets, food, water and medical services.

    A new holding center has also been opened up close to King Khaled International Airport where exit visas are issued, said Col. Fawaz bin Jamil Al- Maiman, deputy spokesman at the Riyadh police. He said it was easier to deport the workers from the center.

    Zenebe K. Korcho, consul general of Ethiopia, told Arab News that the diplomatic mission had also asked the Saudi authorities to arrest male and female members of families because it would be difficult for the females to live alone.

    Korcho appealed to the media not to portray the entire community as violent criminals.

    “Ethiopians have been living in the Kingdom for more than 50 years as law-abiding citizens without any problem until recently.” He said it was not possible for them to have become criminals in a few weeks.

    “The Ethiopian government has respect for Saudi law and the country's law enforcement agencies.”

    Source: arabnews

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  • First group of Ethiopians from Saudi arrive in Addis

     

    The first group of Ethiopian repatriates from Saudi Arabia arrived at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport safely Wednesday afternoon.

    Some of the returnees told ERTA that life as a migrant had been appalling especially for those without legal status.

    They commended the effort of the Ethiopian government towards the safe return of citizens.

    They vowed to forget the past, work hard and prosper in their own country and called on fellow Ethiopians to follow suit.

    Spokesperson of MoFA, Ambassador Dina Mufti said the Saudi government is taking measures to stop violence against Ethiopian workers in that country.

    He said the ongoing effort of the Ethiopian government to rescue citizens in Saudi Arabia would be continued in a strengthened manner.

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) would support the returnees to integrate with their families and communities, it was indicated.     

    The Ethiopian Ambassador in Riyadh had announced on Tuesday that a number of Ethiopian workers without documentation had handed themselves over to the Riyadh police.

    The Saudi authorities are now arranging for their repatriation.

    The Ambassador, Muhammed Hassan said that as many illegal workers were unsure about how to proceed when the amnesty ended, the Ethiopian Embassy held discussions with the Saudi authorities and made arrangements to enable such citizens to hand themselves in.

    Under the agreement, the workers would be kept at various holding centers until they could get exit visas.

    The Embassy has assisted 38,199 workers to correct their employment status during the amnesty period which ended on November 4.

    The Ambassador said embassy officials and volunteers, together with various Saudi government agencies, were working to get travel documents for the workers.

    He said Ethiopia had been one of the first countries to request an extension of the initial amnesty so that citizens would benefit and correct their status, but where this was not possible the embassy began preparations for them to return home.

    The Ambassador, who sent his condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives on Saturday, said the weekend clashes had occurred because illegal workers had been frustrated because they had no way to surrender to the police.

    They had taken to the streets to voice their concern and this had led to clashes with some youths in the neighborhood.

    Such confrontations and clashes were “unacceptable,” he said, adding that “the safety and human rights of all people should be respected.”

    ERTA

     

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  • Violence pushes some 23,000 Ethiopians to surrender to Saudi authorities

     

    Riyadh - Some 23,000 Ethiopians have handed themselves in since Saudi authorities clamped down on illegal foreign workers 10 days ago, Ethiopia’s ambassador in Riyadh said in remarks published on Wednesday.

    The crackdown was marred by clashes between police and Ethiopian migrants on Saturday that led to the deaths of three people in the poor Manfuhah neighbourhood of Riyadh.

    Ambassador Mohammad Hassan Kabiera told the English-language Arab News daily that the clashes “occurred because the illegal workers were frustrated they did not have a way to surrender to the police”.

    The workers took to the streets to voice their concerns, prompting “clashes with some youths in the neighbourhood”, he said.

    The crackdown was marred by clashes between police and Ethiopian migrants on Saturday that led to the deaths of three people in the poor Manfuhah neighbourhood of Riyadh.

    Ambassador Mohammad Hassan Kabiera told the English-language Arab News daily that the clashes “occurred because the illegal workers were frustrated they did not have a way to surrender to the police”.

    The workers took to the streets to voice their concerns, prompting “clashes with some youths in the neighbourhood”, he said.
     “We have been informed that so far about 23,000 Ethiopians have handed themselves in,” Kabiera said.

    On Tuesday, Ethiopia said three of its citizens had died during clashes in the Gulf kingdom, without elaborating.

    On Wednesday, Saudi media quoted Riyadh governor Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz as saying that “casualties and deaths have not surpassed three Saudis and two foreigners”, again without giving details.

    Thousands of workers have handed themselves in to authorities who are holding them in police-run centres pending the finalisation of procedures for their deportation.

    In Addis Ababa, Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said on Tuesday that “the act of killing innocent civilians is uncalled for, we condemn that”.

    Al Riyadh daily quoted Prince Khalid as defending the campaign, saying it “does not target a specific group but all illegal” workers and residents.

    “We will continue these campaigns until we ensure all residents in our country are staying legally,” he said.

    On November 4, the kingdom began rounding up thousands of illegals following the expiry of a final amnesty for them to formalise their status.

    Among them were foreigners who overstayed their visas, pilgrims who had sought jobs, and migrants working under one sponsor trying to get jobs elsewhere.

    Having an official sponsor is a legal requirement in Saudi Arabia and most other Gulf states.

    Nearly a million migrants — Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Indians, Nepalis, Pakistanis and Yemenis among them — took advantage of the amnesty to leave.

    Another roughly four million were able to find employers to sponsor them.

    Expatriates account for a full nine million of the oil-rich kingdom’s population of 27 million.

    The lure of work, even in low-paid jobs as domestics or construction workers, has made the country a magnet for migrants from Asia as well as from poorer Arab states.

    Despite its huge oil wealth, Saudi Arabia has a jobless rate of more than 12.5 per cent among its local population, a figure the government has long sought to cut.

     

     

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  • Ethiopian Embassy and Volunteers Working for Safe Repatriation of Ethiopians

    ( Addis Ababa) - The Ethiopian Embassy in Riyadh announced today that it is working with community members to repatriate Ethiopians in "a safe and dignified manner." Speaking about the current situation in the city, Ambassador Mohammed Hassen said "over the past two day the situation has been calm and no new incidents of clashes with security forces reported."

    The Ambassador and diplomats at the embassy met with the Governor of Riyadh and the head of the police force to discuss ways to work for the safe repatriation of Ethiopians. The Embassy has opened a new registration center in Mureba and started registering Ethiopian citizens, and is providing laissez passer to Ethiopians who failed to legalize their status in the four months grace period allowed by the Saudi government.

    The Embassy has also had meetings with community members to organize efforts to stop any ill-treatment of Ethiopians while they are being moved to deportation centers by Saudi security forces. Volunteers from Ethiopian community members are also supporting the Embassy in registering Ethiopians who are without residence permits. The Ambassador together with the Governor of Riyadh has visited detention facilities to observe conditions. He and other Ethiopian diplomats have confirmed that Ethiopians without resident permits are now moving to the deportation centers without problem.

    The Saudi Ministry of Foreigners has urged Ethiopians to go to the nearest Embassy, Consulate office or registration center to process their repatriation in an orderly fashion. Today, Ethiopia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reiterated its reassurance to all concerned Ethiopian citizens that it is working with the Saudi Authorities to repatriate Ethiopians and protect them from any form of abuse. The Ministry has also firmly repeated that it strongly condemns any form of ill-treatment or inhuman actions committed against Ethiopians.

     

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  • Bono meets PM Hailemariam

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Saturday held discussions with Bono - former Irish rock star and philanthropist - on the AU Year of agriculture and Ethiopia’s progress on MDGs.

    Bono was accompanied by Mo Ibrahim, Dr. Sipho S. Moyo - ONE Africa Director, and Michale Elliott - ONE CEO.

    On the occasion, Bono said the development endeavors being carried out in Ethiopia are exemplary to other African countries.

    He praised the effort of the government and people of Ethiopia to eradicate poverty.

    He urged the need for other African countries to introduce and implement effective policies and strategies similar to Ethiopia.

    The rock star lauded the success that the country achieved in improving community health.

    Read more from ERTA

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