Addis Ababa – The Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Thursday said that it had returned home 2,250 Ethiopians in one week period.
Speaking to local and foreign media outlet, Meles Alem, Spokesperson of MoFA, said the 2,250 Ethiopians who had been serving prison sentences in Saudi Arabia were returned home in recent days after negotiations with Saudi authorities.
Alem said its ministry had also given travel documents to more than 40,000 Ethiopians living in various countries, including Saudi Arabia, as part of efforts to assist the legalisation of their residency status in foreign countries.
In recent years, thousands of undocumented Ethiopians have been rounded up and put in prison in Saudi Arabia, accused of illegal entry.
It is estimated every year thousands of Ethiopians travel across the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia looking for better economic opportunities, often employed in the informal sector without having valid residency permits.