Friday, November 22, 2013

“Repatriation process a top priority” – Dr. Tedros

(Nov 23, 2013, (mfa))--Foreign Minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, gave a press briefing today (November 22) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He explained the government’s actions to curb the rising tide of Ethiopian victims of illegal human trafficking networks during the last year.

He said a high level delegation which he had headed had been sent to Saudi Arabia in July to seek ways of providing protection for Ethiopian workers living there. A National Taskforce had been set up with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs , the National Intelligence and Security Service and the Federal Police to find ways to stop illegal migration by Ethiopian nationals and safeguard the interests and rights of Ethiopians working abroad.

The Taskforce had suggested, and the government accepted, a ban on Ethiopian workers travelling abroad until fully satisfactory legal framework that guaranteed the safety and protection of citizens and their interests could be provided. The Minister emphasized that the ban will stay in place for as long it takes to accomplish the goal of providing Ethiopians working abroad with full protection of their rights and interests. Dr. Tedros also explained that the repatriation process had started immediately after the Saudi Arabian authorities had begun detaining Ethiopian citizens.

He said  that  although the number of Ethiopian nationals that arrived at the temporary holding centers “were more than we expected initially”, the government started the repatriation process immediately. He said that so far 16,248 Ethiopians had been successfully repatriated. The Minister appealed to all Ethiopians to see the current situation from a humanitarian perspective and said that the problem shouldn’t be used for momentary political gains.

He underlined the Government’s strong resolve to bring back all undocumented Ethiopian citizens as quickly as possible, emphasizing that the repatriation process was a top priority. 
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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