3,410 Ethiopians repatriated from Saudi

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At least 3,410 Ethiopian nationals were repatriated from Saudi Arabia during the past week, an official said here.

Speaking to journalists, Dina Mufti, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), said the government is undertaking coordinated efforts to repatriate nationals from Saudi Arabia, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to figures from the MoFA, there are an estimated 750,000 Ethiopians living in Saudi Arabia currently, out of which 450,000 have reportedly entered the country illegally.

Mufti said the process to repatriate undocumented Ethiopian migrants from Saudi Arabia will be further stepped up in the coming weeks.

In recent months, the East African country has stepped up efforts to return home its citizens stranded in various foreign countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, as part of the government’s newly unveiled “citizen-centred diplomacy”.

It is estimated that thousands of Ethiopians are trafficked to Saudi Arabia as well as various other countries annually, where they are mainly engaged in the informal economy.

The government said it is currently working to dismantle sophisticated human trafficking networks, and create economic opportunities for nationals with low incomes.

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