Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ethiopia swamped by wave of returned migrants

(Dec 27, 2013, (Addis Ababa))--More than 120,000 undocumented migrants were forced out of Saudi Arabia and face an uncertain future at home. The return of 120,000 young undocumented migrant workers from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia has sparked fears that the influx will worsen the country's high youth unemployment and put pressure on access to increasingly scarce land.

As a result, a growing number of young Ethiopians are choosing to migrate to Sudan to circumvent an indefinite travel ban slapped by the Ethiopian government last month on Ethiopian workers traveling to Middle Eastern countries.

Esther Negash, 28, is from a family of nine that lives on a four-hectare farm dedicated to growing maize in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. She has been out of work since leaving school 10 years ago. Negash's family recently decided to use their savings to fund her migration to Khartoum in search of employment.

"In the last two months, there have been many people returning from Saudi Arabia. This makes things worse for people like me who cannot find work," she said. "The rains were short this year and we did not have a good harvest. My family is large, if we don't get a good harvest then it is very difficult. We heard about work opportunities in Sudan and thought this was our only solution." Read more from Aljazeera »

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