[QODLink]
Africa

Over 140,000 Ethiopians back from Saudi

Ethiopia says number of workers repatriated after crackdown in Saudi Arabia could eventually reach 150,000.

Last updated: 19 Dec 2013 20:20
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Ethiopia has repatriated more than 140,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia, with estimates from the foreign ministry that the number could reach "over 150,000", in one of the biggest humanitarian airlifts in recent years.

The move comes after the Saudi government's crackdown on migrant workers that sparked protests in the Gulf nation.

The number of Ethiopians who had been removed from Saudi was more than 140,000 on Thursday, but Mihiretab Mulugeta from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that they are expecting at least 10,000 more workers to arrive in the coming days.

The Saudi government says the workers violated labour and immigration laws. Its move against migrants is meant to curb the number of foreign workers in the country.

The government granted a seven-month amnesty to undocumented immigrants so they could organise their own means of returning home.

After the amnesty period expired in November, clashes broke out between protesters refusing repatriation and Saudi police.

At least three demonstrators were killed in the violence and thousands more detained in what Human Rights Watch warned was a potential humanitarian disaster.

Many migrants, such as Ahmad Muhammad, accuse the Saudi government of mistreating them, and keeping them "for 5 or 6 days in the sun with no food or water".

"The [Ethiopian] government has done nothing except assist in repatriating us," Muhammad told Al Jazeera.

Migrants from different countries have also been deported. Sudan reported more than 10,000 nationals had been repatriated in recent weeks.

247

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.