Over 50,000 illegal Ethiopian workers sent home from Saudi Arabia

1395208_524931437602899_1550810834_nOver 50,000 illegal Ethiopian workers sent home from Saudi Arabia

Addis Ababa (AFP) – Ethiopia has flown home over 50,000 citizens in Saudi Arabia after a crackdown against illegal immigrants in the oil-rich state, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

“We projected the initial number to be 10,000 but it is increasing,” foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti told AFP, adding that the final total once the mass airlift ends is now expected to be around 80,000.

Ethiopia started repatriating citizens living illegally in Saudi Arabia after a seven-month amnesty period to formalise their status expired on November 4, sparking violent protests between Saudi police and Ethiopian migrants preparing to leave the country.

The Ethiopian government said three of its citizens were killed in clashes.

Dina said the government is spending $2.6 million (1.9 million euros) on the repatriation programme to bring citizens home, the majority women.

Ethiopia has said relations with Saudi Arabia remain “sisterly”, with Dina saying the government’s main priority was to bring citizens home.

“We are focussing on the repatriation… we have not evaluated that one, we have not assessed that,” he said, referring to Ethio-Saudi ties.

Large numbers of Ethiopians — often women seeking domestic work — travel to the Middle East each year looking for jobs.

Around 200,000 women sought work abroad in 2012, according to Ethiopia’s ministry of labour and social affairs.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) said many face physical and mental abuse, low pay, discrimination and poor working conditions.

Reports of mistreatment of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia has sparked outrage in Ethiopia.

In an emotional speech this month, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said the government was in “around the clock crisis management” mode trying to bring citizens back.

With 91 million citizens, Ethiopia is Africa’s most populous country after Nigeria, but also one of the continent’s poorest, with the majority of people earning less than two dollars a day.

Around 27 percent of women and 13 percent of men are unemployed, according to the ILO.

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6 thoughts on “Over 50,000 illegal Ethiopian workers sent home from Saudi Arabia

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  1. Saudi Arabia is part of the First World. The Saudi population is parasitic. It relies on migrant labor and big imperialists to keep it afloat.

  2. The article is very timely. The only error is to use the term ‘illegal’ as no human is illegal. I saw a video recently of an Ethiopian woman being beaten by her Saudi employer. It was sickening. I If Ethiopia had any backbone it would sever make more of a stink about this mistreatment using the United Nations or other diplomatic measures, including the closing of the Saudi Embassy (if one exists in Addis Abbaba), etc. The treatment of Ethiopians at the hands of Saudi’s is akin to the treatment of Haitians by Dominicans. It is racist, sexist, and exploitative. It appears as if the Saudi nation is not only First World in its political and social relations with migrants, but prides itself on its brutality against Third World migrant workers. While Israel is Zionist and Saudi is Sunni Muslim, they are both the same in their political and economic and military affairs. Down With the Saudi Kingdom. Self Determination for all Ethiopians working in Saudi Arabia!

    1. New Power nor LLCO wrote the article. AFP wrote it. So we have no control over the unfortunate language the author used. You are correct that no human being is illegal. However, if anyone were illegal, it would be those who have occupied the Indigenous land of North America, not migrant workers. The article is republished here because it is helpful for those following current events.

      LLCO has long called for a more advanced understanding of the Third and First World divide. LLCO has moved away from the simplistic view that the Third/First World divide should be simply understood as the Exploited/Exploiter Country divide or, worse of all, the Oppressed/Oppressor Nation divide. The latter views were an attempt to make theory conform to what were perceived as the needs of the national liberation and de-colonial movements of the times. LLCO has recognized that national liberation is no longer the cutting edge of the anti-imperialist struggle. LLCO doesn’t tail nationalist movements. LLCO does not seek to be the Black Panther Party 2.0 or whatever. LLCO is really blazing its own very unique path. You’d be shocked how deep the rabbit hole goes.

      This is explained to various degrees if you “read between the lines” of our articles or “listen deeply, closely” to the video speeches by the leadership. There is a lot there about LLCO’s direction, future advances,etc. that is hinted at, alluded to, stated subtly, etc. What our readers see on the website is just the beginning. The visible advances are simply what we have let the public be aware of. There is so much more.

      The work that is being done is unprecedented. This is the next wave. It is very exciting to be a part of it. I hope many of our readers join us in making history. I offer my hand to those who are beginning to stand up to join us.

      — Editor, New Power

  3. Yes, Saudi Arabia is imperialist but it is not first-rate imperialist, since it lacks the nuclear weapon. Saudi Arabia does export capital to poorer countries but, unlike America, Russia or France, it cannot defend its multinationals through millitary means. When worse comes to worst, Saudi Arabia can only employ economic means to further the interersts of Saudi multinationals. It is only the combination of strong export of capital and nuclear might that makes a country first-rate imperialist.

    1. Your view appears to be that of Lenin’s. Our view is different. While we recognize Lenin’s contribution to the understanding of imperialism, our view is that imperialism has changed in important ways in the last century. Individual empires should not be mechanically be seen as mapping onto single countries: England, France, Germany, USA, etc. Rather, imperialism has become transnational in important ways. In other words, imperialism can be seen more and more as post-national. Newer emerging empires or semi-empires may still be national, but they too will probably transform at some point. The days of heated imperialist conflict seem to be over. The world appears to be headed for a unitary imperial system or a collection of transnational imperial blocs that nonetheless do not engage in open warfare.

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