The Guardian News
Friday, 22 November 2013
Spokesman for Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Dina Mufti, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Addis Ababa on Friday that the matter required swift investigation by the Saudis.
He said Ethiopia had begun the repatriation of its nationals in Saudi Arabia, adding that 14,957 citizens had so far been brought back.
“The Government of Ethiopia has no other priority at present than repatriating its citizens from Saudi Arabia.
“So far, we have brought back 14,957, including women and children as at Friday, November 22“, the envoy said
NAN reports that the Ethiopian government had set up a national taskforce to speed up the process of repatriating its nationals in Saudi, projected to be more than 40,000 persons.
To fund the operation, the government released 50 million Birr (about $300,000) and the money is also expected to be used in the rehabilitation of the returnees.
Mufti said the Foreign Ministry had dedicated six flights daily to evacuate the remaining Ethiopian nationals in Saudi shores, adding that He the flights would be increased to 12 at the weekend to hasten the repatriation.
He noted that Ethiopian consulates in Abu Dhabi and Qatar were supporting their counterpart in Riyadh to expedite the exercise.