Ethiopians in Saudi remain in limbo as Kingdom’s deadline for amnesty approaches

ESAT News (May 26, 2017)

Ethiopians who spoke to ESAT from Saudi Arabia say they are not getting the support from their government, when they needed it most, as the deadline for the Kingdom’s amnesty to undocumented immigrants to leave the country expires at the end of June.

A woman whose name is withheld told ESAT on the phone that governments of other countries are providing their nationals free tickets while the Ethiopian Airlines has doubled its air fare.

“They increase the air fares from 800 riyal to 1700. The Ethiopian government says we can import our cargo free of tax but friends who are in Ethiopia already say they are asked to pay taxes in thousands of dollars,”

“We ask Ethiopians to pray for us,” the Ethiopian woman said from Riyad.

A man says he is not going back to a his country where there is no justice. “I will face the consequences here than suffer in the hands of the Ethiopian regime. Those who returned home have not gotten any help from the government. Help is only provided to members and supporters of the regime,” he said.

“The Ethiopian Embassy in Saudi Arabia refuse support to those who deem opposition to the government,” he added.

Only 15,000 of the over 700,000 Ethiopians have so far been repatriated.

The Kingdom gave a 90 day amnesty to undocumented workers to leave the country and return legally, or face forced deportations.The Ethiopians say their Embassy have not been cooperative to obtain the visas.