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    Ethiopia repatriates 420 citizens from Saudi Arabia

    APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

    Ethiopia on Monday repatriated 420 citizens who were living in Saudi Arabia without residence and work permits.

    The Saudi government recently launched “a nation without violations” campaign to give people, without legal documents, a 90-day amnesty period to help them leave the country without facing penalties.

    According to the Saudi government, those illegal immigrants who failed to take advantage of the 90-day amnesty will face deportation.

    Abdulbaste Kedir, acting Director of Affairs of the Ethiopian Nationals in Foreign Land, said 60 of the returnees who cannot afford their transportation fares to go their respective localities were moved to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office, which is covering returnees' transportation costs.

    The government has been carrying out various activities to facilitate the smooth and safe repatriation of Ethiopians by establishing a command post, he said.

    More than 3000 Ethiopians have so far returned in 10 days, after the kingdom launched what is called “a nation without violations” campaign.

    Discussions are underway with the Ethiopian embassy and consulate in Riyadh and in Jeddah respectively, to facilitate the efficient issuing of travel documents and avoid possible challenges, Kedir added.

    He called on Ethiopians without legal documents in Saudi Arabia to voluntarily leave the country, so as to avoid forced deportation.


    MG/afm/APA

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