Alarming increase in number of illegal Ethiopian migrants, government fails to help them

Alarming increase in number of illegal Ethiopian migrants, government fails to help them

FILE: Ethiopian migrants, stranded in war-torn Yemen, sit on the ground of a detention site pending repatriation to their home country, in Aden, Yemen April 24, 2019. Reuters

CAIRO – 28 October 2020: (egypttoday)—The growing number of African migrants, especially Ethiopian people, has been alarming, with many of them dying while trying to cross to the Gulf through the war-torn Yemen.

On Sunday, the International Organization for Migration said eight people have died and 12 others have been lost while trying to migrate from the Horn of Africa. Most of the migrants were Ethiopians and Somalians.

An Ethiopian migrant, who is currently held in Saudi Arabia, spoke through a smuggled phone, said no one is helping them to return home, including the Ethiopian government, AP reported.

He said no one known when the government in Ethiopia will take any action to repatriate them.

Trying to seek better life conditions, thousands of Egyptians flee their countries every year, trying to reach the Kingdom, after a long and sometimes dangerous journey across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden.

The Ethiopian government’s efforts to prevent them from taking this dangerous journey have been so far limited, amid deteriorating life conditions in the country.

Thousands of Ethiopian migrants have been working in Yemen, in order to be able to secure the money required for them to pay for their passage to the Kingdom, Amnesty International said.

This comes especially as Houthis in Yemen started forcing Ethiopian migrants to go to the border, after the coronavirus pandemic escalated in the country, without any good infrastructure to contain the novel virus and prevent cases from growing.

Thus, around 2,000 Ethiopian migrants have been stranded on the Yemeni side of the border with Saudi Arabia, without required water, food or health care, the International Organization for Migration said.