ETHIOPIA MOBILIZES VOLUNTEERS TO COPE WITH SAUDI RETURNEES

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia has mobilized 700 volunteers to cope with the thousands of undocumented Ethiopians still stranded in Saudi Arabia ahead of coming expiry of an amnesty.

The statement on Friday by Meles Alem, Spokesperson for Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said it is trying to return Ethiopians before the expiry of amnesty deadline by Saudi Arabia for illegal foreign residents.

Only 11 days were left after Saudi Arabia issued a 90-day deadline for foreigners living illegally in the country to leave the Middle East country.

Alem further said so far 82,343 undocumented Ethiopians living in Saudi Arabia have taken travel documents to return to Ethiopia.

Spurred by low prices and increasing population, Saudi Arabia is encouraging its citizens to work on jobs normally done by foreigners, both legal and illegal residents.

"Already 1,400 Ethiopians have arrived on Thursday, but we're expecting some undocumented Ethiopians to be left even after the deadline of the expiry deadline," he said.

He said the Ethiopian government is giving tax exemptions on goods brought by the returnees and is working with regional and federal authorities to smoothen the Ethiopians' arrival back home.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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