Ethiopia Set To Resume Repatriating Citizens From Saudi Arabia

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Ethiopia said it is set to begin the third phase of repatriating 70,000 of its citizens from Saudi Arabia.

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said the citizens “are in a difficult situation” in the Gulf country.

The repatriations will begin in two weeks.

Saudi Arabia had asked foreign workers residing in the country without legal rights to leave or face jail time.

The country hosts an estimated 750,000 Ethiopians, more than half of whom are in the country illegally, according to the UN migration agency IOM.

They include workers, job seekers and refugees fleeing conflict in the Horn of Africa nation.

Human rights groups have previously said that some Ethiopian migrants have faced rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, including torture and killings.

Saudi Arabia has repatriated more than 350,000 Ethiopians since 2017, according to IOM.