Friday, December 27, 2013

Ethiopian migrants tell of torture and rape in Yemen -BBC News

The BBC's Yalda Hakim visits a so-called 'torture camp'
Efta is just 17 but has experienced shocking brutality.
The Ethiopian teenager survived a treacherous boat journey being smuggled across the Red Sea.
But on reaching Yemen, she was kidnapped and driven at gunpoint to a mud brick house.
She said: "They tortured other girls in front of me. They beat us and they raped us at gunpoint. I was terrified."
She is one of 80,000 Ethiopian migrants who undertake this dangerous journey every year.
They hope they will find work in the wealthy Gulf state of Saudi Arabia and be able to send money home.

Hafton's story

Hafton Ekar
Hafton Ekar, 23, made the journey from Ethiopia to Yemen with a group of friends.
Their aim was to find work in Saudi Arabia to support their families but they were kidnapped shortly after being smuggled into Yemen.
Hafton's father was told he needed to pay $300 to free his son but after the ransom was paid, Hafton was sold on to a 'torture camp'.
The new gang wanted another $250 but there was no money left. Hafton was brutally tortured.
"They hurt me very badly. I can't use the bathroom any more. I'm paralysed," he said.
His friends carried him on their backs when they escaped. Hafton now lies on a mattress in the refugee centre in Haradh.
But they risk being exploited by criminal gangs and the Yemeni military in the 500 km (310 miles) trek across Yemen to the Saudi border.
'Raped and burned'
Efta was held at what is known as a "torture camp" for three months.
She was too ashamed to ask her parents for money to set her free so she was raped every day.
Once it became clear that no ransom was going to be paid and after Efta fell ill, she was thrown out on the street.
She is now being cared for in a refugee centre run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Yemeni border town of Haradh.
She remains traumatised by her experience.
"The women get raped and the men are burned. They break bones. They take people's eyes out," she said.
"Everything you can imagine, they do it. I saw it with my own eyes."
Most of the Ethiopians we met came from the Tigray region in the north of the country.
They crossed the mountains into Djibouti and then paid people smugglers to take them across the Red Sea at its shortest point, Bab al-Mandab (or the Gate of Grief).
It was a harbinger of the trials and tribulations ahead of them where thousands are tortured and sexually exploited by people smugglers.
A map showing the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Saudi ArabiaA map showing the journey of Ethiopian migrants to Saudi Arabia.
And if they make it to Haradh, many die trying to get across the heavily-fortified border into Saudi Arabia.
Saleh Sabri is the local undertaker. He has lost count of the number of migrants he has buried.
"Some people are shot at the border. Some have been hung. Some are beaten to death," he said.
"They all die from unnatural causes."
Inside 'torture camp'
For centuries, Haradh has thrived on gun-running and drug-smuggling. Now, the commodity is people.
The Medecins Sans Frontieres charity says there are an estimated 200 "torture camps" in this area alone.
We become the first journalists to enter one after we are promised safe passage by a local judge.
Five migrants in what is known as a 'torture camp'Five migrants under armed guard in what is known as a 'torture camp' in Haradh, Yemen
One of the judge's soldiers accompanies us for our safety.
We drive across sand dunes to reach a mud brick house on the outskirts of town.
As we enter, there appear to be five migrants sitting on the ground with two armed men guarding them.
We ask them if they have been abused.
"For the last three days, they have threatened to beat us if our families don't pay," said one migrant.
We then spot the entrance to a small room at the edge of the compound.
The soldier says this is where the migrant women are taken.
We ask to go inside but the soldier says what is going on behind the door could be haram, meaning forbidden.
We are told there could be a man and a woman in there.
We are not allowed to knock on the closed door but there are two pairs of shoes outside.
A man then appears with a pistol who says he was the owner of the camp. We ask him if torture exists on this farm.
"That's forbidden," he said.
"There's no torture here. If we were capturing them by force, we'd have plenty of migrants there. They come here willingly."
We also ask if there are women here.
"No, there's no women in this farm," he said.
After we left, we visited a senior local police officer and told him what we had seen.
We understand that the next day, all the migrants in the camp were released.
The International Organization for Migration says it is dealing with an "international humanitarian crisis".
Failed state
But Yemen is ill-equipped to solve this problem when it is fighting two insurgencies that have displaced tens of thousands.

Yemen: The most dangerous journey in the world

Yalda Hakim in Yemen
See Yalda Hakim's Our World documentary at the following times:
BBC News Channel: Saturday 20 July at 02:30, 05:30, 14:30, 21:30 and Sunday 21 July at 03:30, 05:30, 10:30, 14:30, 21:30. All times BST.
BBC World News: Friday 19 July at 23:30; Saturday 20 April at 11:30, 16:30; Sunday 21 July at 17:30, 22:30. All times GMT.
International aid is mainly directed towards them and the 200,000 Somali refugees in the south.
In the vacuum, gangs of kidnappers and torturers seem to operate at will.
But many Ethiopian migrants say the Yemeni army is complicit.
Efta said the men who kidnapped her were dressed in military clothing.
"They were wearing army uniforms," she said.
"So that's why we did what they said. We didn't think they would do all of this to us."
She also said the same men - Yemeni soldiers - raped her at the 'torture camp'.
And 16-year-old Asma said the same. She nearly made it past the Yemeni guards at the Saudi border.
"Then the Yemeni army came," she said.
"They caught us. They sold us to the torture camp."
Asma was raped by up to three men every day for two months. She got out because one of her captors, she said, felt pity for her.
She is also living in the refugee centre in Haradh.
We requested an interview with the Yemeni government about the treatment of migrants but our request was declined.
The undertaker of Hardah Saleh SabriThe undertaker of Haradh burying another migrant. Saleh Sabri says he has lost count of the number.
The undertaker of Haradh is used to operating without government support.
"I have 40 bodies in the morgue and I have only six draws to store them," said Saleh Sabri.
He still washes and prepares the bodies in the traditional way.
"I'm a simple man with a simple job," he said.
"I take care of the morgue so I must take care of these poor unknown people. I do it for God."

Sunday, December 22, 2013

▶ Future Unsure for Repatriated Female Ethiopians - YouTube

▶ Future Unsure for Repatriated Female Ethiopians - YouTube: ""

'via Blog this'

Explaining the Ethiopian outmigration: Incentives or Constraints? Seid Hassan and Minga Negash

By Seid Hassan and Minga Negash
In both theory and practice, pull and push factors drive migrants out of their own countries of origin. The factors are complex but they are in general categorized as: (a) demand-pull factors, represented by better economic opportunities and jobs in the host (new) country; (b) supply-push factors, represented by the lack of economic opportunities, jobs, and economic downturns, political oppressions, abuses of human rights by home country governments, religious intolerance (constraints), war, conflict and insecurity in the home country; (c) mediating factors that accelerate or constrain migration which may include the existence or prevalence of opportunities available to human smugglers, fly by night recruitment agencies, registered recruitment agencies operating within the legal system and government policies encouraging/incentivizing citizens to migrate; and (d) social network (pull) factors such as the existence of relatives, friends and acquaintances in host countries, available opportunities for family unifications in host countries, and success stories of diaspora migrants. The role played by each of these factors and their relative importance and dynamics depend on the economic, political, societal conditions and geographical proximity between the home, transit and destination countries.
In attempting to explain the Ethiopian outmigration, our conjuncture is that the push factors play the dominant role in driving out Ethiopians out of their country, prominent among them being abject poverty and bad governance. Bad governance and economic constraints are highly correlated, for bad governance basically meansthe lack of rule of law, political freedom, accountability, transparency, efficient institutions and increased corruption and insecurity. Development economists have repeatedly shown that bad governance plays significant roles in retarding development in addition to exacerbating economic inequalityincreasing poverty,corruptionconflicts and environmental degradation.
Development economists have also documented that economic mobility and geographic mobility are correlated. Unfortunately, the ruling party’s ethnic policy isknown to have restricted internal migration. That is, by restricting internal migration, the ethnic based governance and political structure, has limited the economic opportunities of the citizens and the country’s capability to absorb migrants internally. As Gray, Mueller and Woldehanna (2012) show, barriers within Ethiopia indeed exist, thereby prohibiting citizens from freely moving within regions, hence denying them the basic constitutional right of mobility. The expulsion of “others” from the Benishangul-Gumuz, and Gura Ferda and the Ogaden regions, considered by many to be crime against humanity is the extreme version of it. Another political problem which has a colossal economic impact on migration is the corruption conundrum. As Ariu and Squicciarin argue, the prevalence of corruption within a nation tends to drive relatively skilled workers out of their own country in part because they distaste a non- meritocratic and nepotistic regime. The “prolonged loss in human capital” in turn leads a country to be afflicted by brain-drain which is known to be a major obstacle to economic growth. In the case of Ethiopia’s opaque system, there is a widespread perception that one can only advance his/her career and economic opportunities using close knit ties established through one’s ethnic stock, family connections or through corruption. This captured state of the Ethiopian State has been dealt in the special edition of the Ethiopian E. Journal for Innovation and Research Foresight (Volume 5 No 1 2013).
In explaining the Ethiopian migration to the Middle East, which we believe is largely economic, we ask two interesting questions: Firstly, why do Ethiopians leave their birthplaces en masse when their country is alleged to have been registering double digit real economic growth rates for nearly a decade? Secondly, are there any overarching identifiable factors that explain the Ethiopian exodus? Managing the variables enables policy makers and the international community to find mitigation strategies for the outmigration, and the resultant human tragedy experienced by the migrants.
As indicated earlier, the research-based literature unanimously documents economic motives such as increased poverty playing a prominent role in international migration. In other words increased economic growth in the source country is a declining function of outmigration from that country. Hence, in order to understand the Ethiopian outmigration, it is important to briefly examine the state of the Ethiopian economy. The alleged double-digit growth, if it is real, should have served to keep citizens to stay put if not even serve as a magnet to attract foreign immigrants. The Ethiopian exodus, therefore, is incompatible with a growing economy. We argue that the fundamental determinants of economic growth and development (see Barro: 1996 and Petrakos et al: 2007, for example) and the realities on the ground do not support the economic expansion that the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has been claiming. Furthermore, there are no indications that the alleged fruits of the growth are shared with the citizenry for the country’s income disparities have been rising (Shimeles & Delelegn: 2013Gebre-Sellasie: 2012Leite et al: 2009).
Luckily, some economists and commentators have been questioning the credibility of the statistics that has been and continues to be produced by the GoE. A good example is the short commentary by Professor Daniel Teferra (2013) who not only poked holes on the government’s claim of sustained double-digit growth rates but also criticized multilateral institutions such as the Africa Development Bank, the IMF, and the World Bank who happen to echo the government’s claim in a rather scandalous proportion. The Economist magazine described the Ethiopian inflation figures as “fiddled with even more than those in Argentina” and “the double-digit growth rates predicted by the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi look fanciful.” On a fundamental level, Professor Abu Girma Moges has shown that there is no reduction in poverty in Ethiopia as claimed by the GoE since the base for the claim is the “recent poverty index computation is the 2010/11 Household Income, Consumption and Expenditure Survey (HICES) conducted by the central statistical agency (CSA, 2012) was flawed and incorrect, “perhaps by design.”  Fortunately, still, other observers have begun questioning the GoE’s double-digit growth rates and sustained economic development. The GoE’s central planning which is a reminiscent of the old USSR planning system has caught the attentions of writers on Ethiopia. The French writer Rene Lefort, in his piece of 26 November 2012 observed what economists of Ethiopian origin have been stating for a long time. It is only in the Ethiopian context where the ex-ante economic forecasts (budgets) are nearly identical to the actual outcomes! Lefort succinctly puts the ruling party’s performance evaluation (gim’gema) system as follows:
“The first question concerns the reality of its achievements, notably the famous ‘double digit growth’ since 2004, which the authorities constantly extol. In fact, this figure is the product of a vicious circle. The government sets absurdly ambitious targets. The work of every public servant is assessed against those targets. Their careers depend on it. And of course, they claim to have achieved them. Then the targets are raised again. Once again, they claim to have met them. The lie becomes institutionalized. The gap between basic national realities and the image that the authorities perceive and communicate, from summit to base, has become so great that it could be said that Ethiopia has turned out to be not so much a Potemkin village, as a Potemkin country. Sooner or later, the authorities will have to deal with the shockwave that results when the truth inevitably comes out.”
Similar accounts have been made by Epstein whose finding was based on her own field-work that took her around the country as well as by Abbink,(2009:21).
Having noted the incompatibility of outmigration with real growth, we now move to the second question of identifying the economic variables that explain the migration phenomenon. The economic variables however are affected by a number of mediating factors. One mediating factor that exacerbates outmigration is government ineffectiveness. We alert researchers on the Ethiopian outmigration to consider the following conjectures/hypotheses in any way they deemed it necessary. In particular, we observe that the existence of an organized crime, whose main purpose is reaping the benefits from smuggling and human trafficking. This highly organized criminal activity enjoys an interlocking relationship with the strength of the institutions of governance and the political effort to delegitimize the Ethiopian State, ironically connected to the history of the ruling regime itself. Furthermore, the breakdown of law and order is in part explained by the GoE’s increasingly repressive methods of resolving dissent.  Our observations indicate that criminal syndicates pertaining to human trafficking have become powerful; often connected to either the law enforcement agencies or the various armed groups that claim to have political grievances. We also observe that the majority of migrants are coming from rural areas; they are poor, uneducated and unskilled and hence unable to legitimize their immigration. We therefore predict that the Saudi mass expulsion of Ethiopians will not be the last we would observe. Nor would we see Ethiopians stopping emigrating unless the root causes of the exodus and the mediating factors are recognized, and appropriate mitigation policies are put in place.
We list a few of the inter-related push factors that explain the Ethiopian outmigration below.
Factors that explain the Ethiopian outmigration
  1. As one of the current authors illustrated earlier, the repeatedly devalued birr(conducted without addressing the economic fundamentals of the country) which in turn was created by politically driven monetary and fiscal policy measures, raised prices sharply leading to a rise in the cost of living and a massive fall in living stands. Worse, the regime unwisely adopted price capsmeasures, despite warnings of its damaging effects. All the price caps measure did was create shortages without reducing prices. It is refreshing to see Sendeq, one of the country’s local newspapers in its November 27, 2013 edition rather boldly articulating the rising cost of living as one of the drivers of the Ethiopian outmigration.
  2. Land policy: Gebru and Beyene document that landlessness is one of the key factors for outmigration in Ethiopia. This fact is buttressed by the significant portion of Ethiopian migrants to the Middle East being from rural areas where about 80% of the population depends on farming and nomadic cattle raising for its livelihood. The abject rural poverty that peasants are facing cannot be separated from the government’s landholding policies (Gebresellasie, 2006). Unfortunately and as Gebreselassie noted (P.4), the GoE’s “insertion of the issue of land in the Ethiopian constitution [has made] rural land increasingly [to] become a political affair”. By inserting the land policy in the constitution, the GoE has effectively eliminated the possibility of flexible application of policy, extended its control over the population and made free and fair election only a dream. Worse, it has eliminated all meaningful debates about efficient utilization of land (Nega and Degefe, 2000). The net effect is that instead of curbing migration, the landholding policy is used to disown and evict peasants from their ancestral lands.  The evictions are made in part to give way for the government’s sugar plantations and facilitate for international agri-business which ironically come from Saudi Arabia and Asian countries. Furthermore, the lack of productivity in the agricultural sector is also connected to the GoE’s land policy. According to a report published by theEthiopian Economic Association (p.2), the government’s bad land-holding policy has led to “declining farm size, tenure insecurity, and subsistence farming practices”.
  3. Rapid Population Growth and Weak Industrial Sector: Poor family planning and population policy when coupled with problematic land policy makes the situation explosive. As noted earlier more than 80% of the population lives in rural areas and depends on subsistence farming. The population growth rate hovers around 3%. The rapid growth in population has reduced the land that is held by each farmer, making it uneconomical for the small farmer to stay in rural Ethiopia. The effect of the land shortage is to create an influx into urban centers, which themselves are under extreme pressure. The manufacturing and the service sectors of the economy were supposed to absorb the rising population. This however is not the case as government itself admitted its disappointments about the industry sector of the economy. The fact that population growth has been outstripping food production, which is associated with increased land scarcity and environmental degradation, has been proved by the last and current regimes’ attempts of repeated land redistributionschemes.
  4. Remittances not invested: According to some estimates the annual revenues from remittances is close of three billion US dollars, a figure that is much higher than the country’s revenue from exports of goods and official development assistance (ODA). The bulk of the remittance is coming from the Middle East countries. The remittances are spent for repayment of debts (often borrowed from family, friends or loan sharks) and fees for recruitment agencies. Most of the financial flow is outside of the banking system and involves the money laundering networks. Anecdotal evidence indicates that income generated by migrants is rarely invested in productive assets. The leftovers from debt and fee repayment are used to support and alleviate family constraints and hardships. The few that is remaining is invested in real estate, an investment sector with no multiplier effects.
  5. Most Ethiopian migrants to the Middle East are poor, women, uneducated and unskilled: Economic and migration theory indicate that relatively highly skilled workers are mobile, flexible and have a better chance of negotiating and enforcing employment contracts.  Contrary to this fact, most Ethiopians who are migrating to the Middle East are relatively unskilled, less educated and destitute which makes them to be vulnerable for abuse. Dawit Wolde Giorgis and David Weinberg connected the labor brokerage system in the oil rich Kingdom to a form of modern day slavery. On the other hand the poorest households would have greater incentives to send their children in order to benefit from the accrued remittances. The poor households however would not have the financial wherewithal to afford sending their household members abroad to pay for the journey and the human smuggler or recruiter ((Taylor, 2006)). Even though the country exports both skilled and unskilled labor, the mass migration of unskilled manpower of the country is peculiar to the country. To make matters worse, there was no meaningful effort on the part of the GoE to equip the migrants even with basic household management skills such as the operation of washing machines and stoves. The GoE did not and probably still does not have labor counselors in its embassies.
  6. Unemployment is the main driver of the outmigration: According to Serneels of Oxford University, Ethiopia has “one of the highest unemployment rates worldwide, around 50% of the urban men between age 15 and 30 are unemployed.” The official statistics for unemployment however is much smaller than what is indicated above.  Widespread poverty, lack of jobs and hopelessness, particularly among the youth, disadvantageous economic and social position of women (see also Endeshaw et al/IOM) are the driving force of Ethiopian migration. The great majority of the deportees from Saudi Arabia and the new arrivals in Yemen and Southern Africa are young people who are desperate about their future. They are by and large in the 20-30 years of age. This fact further indicates the inability of the local economy to absorb the younger and more productive portion of the labor force. This also should negatively affect productivity and Ethiopia’s growth capabilities. The massification of higher education and the 10+2 education policy have not helped to mitigate the problem, which in turn has resulted in an alarming level of poor education quality and high dropout rates, as reported by Hassan and Ahmed: 2010); Dyson:2012; Tekeste Negash:2006). This puts the country in a vicious circle.
  7. Drought and climate change are major problems. The country has been frequently hard hit by drought which exacerbates the financial constraints of households and increasing food insecurity. The country has not been self-sufficient in food and about 20% of the population is in donor-supported social safety net program. The massive environmental degradation of the few virgin lands by commercial farmers when coupled with the eviction of peasants exacerbates both the despair and the outmigration.
  8. Labor exporting policy to mitigate shortage of foreign currency: Exporting people is considered by the GoE as one of the best sources of foreign currency. Unlike in other countries, the government encourages its citizens to migrate. The GoE’s encouragement comes in two forms. The first is political while the second is economic. The immigration of political opponents is seen by the ruling party as a sign of relief. With regard to the economic reasons,Kebede notes that the government encourages and has instituted migration policies, to the extent of being “active in facilitating the recruitment of workers for employment abroad (p. 22) but without adequately informing migrants about the dangers they would face in host countries, and without negotiating with host countries on labor conditions. The diaspora did not disappoint when it comes to the latter, as it helped finance the ruling party’s mega projects by buying diaspora bonds, participating in government housing construction (condominium) schemes, building houses and increasing own family consumption expenditures. Both the government and families of emigrants view remittance flows as an important source of finance.
  9. No reverse brain drain is observed. Countries such as China, India and Korea were able to attract their skilled members of the diaspora to help them develop their economies because as their economies grew, the diaspora was pulled back into these countries. The fact that Ethiopia is unable to do this suggests that the so-called growing economy either does not exist or is incapable of absorbing the skilled part of the Ethiopian diaspora, in part due to lack of opportunities (Fransen and Kuschminder (2009:23). The political tensions exacerbate the problems of brain drain.
  10. Voice and accountability problems. Ethiopia is ranked very low in most of the international and regional governance indicators. It is also in the list of the world’s 20 failed states. Interestingly, the alleged economic expansion started to occur immediately after the 2005 election crisis. However, outmigration accelerated right after the 2005 election.  This may indicate two factors playing a big role. One is the political difficulties the regime has faced since the 2005 election debacle. The second bolstering the claim made about the nonexistence of the much trumpeted growth of GDP and/or not reaching the majority of the people. Indication are that both maybe working together as Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen shows that in countries where governments are accountable, human misery is low.  The controlling nature of the ruling party is documented by Arriola: 2005Abbink: 2006Epstein: 2010Human Right Watch: 2010 and others.
In conclusion we surmise that Ethiopia’s outmigration is largely explained by several interconnected push factors. According to one of the aforementioned researchers, 71% of the migration from Gojam and SSNPR is “related to push factors in places of origin, and 29% to pull factors in places of destination.” The pull factors are largely out of the control of the GoE and it may only have limited influence. The TPLF/EPRDF had 22 years to originate and implement policy, a job that Endeshaw et al (IOM), theU.S. State DepartmentKebedeTeshome and others have indicated that the GoE has failed to do. In other words the present  crisis is yet another evidence of government ineffectiveness. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine that such a highly lucrative business involving huge network of migration facilitators, local brokers and recruiters and human trafficking networks, to the extent of making the country thehub of human trafficking, would exist this long without being sanctioned by the regime, particularly in a system which controls each individual citizen with the notorious 1-to-5 bonding scheme.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ethiopia: UNHCR plans to resettle thousands of refugees - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

December 13, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) - The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that it is planning to resettle over 3,800 refugees in Ethiopia to a third country.
This follows record submissions for resettlement at the Tongo, Barahle and Bokolmanyo refugee camps, where resettlement has not not been previously conducted.
"Notable this year was the first emergency resettlement to Sweden of a child-at-risk from Dollo Ado, as well as submissions of several highly vulnerable women and girls out of Barahle and Sherkole camps, including victims of female genital mutilation and other forms of sexual and gender based violence”, said Julia Zajkowski, the Resettlement Officer at UNHCR Office in Ethiopia.
The plan to resettle 3,800 refugees exceeds the UN refugee agency’s 2013 resettlement target by over 20%.
The third-country resettlement operation for refugees in Ethiopia particularly for Eritreans was begun by the Ethiopian government in 2006 in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR.
Since the program began, thousands of refugees have been resettled in western countries such as to Norway, Canada, and Switzerland Australia and to the United States where they have begun new lives.
Zajkowski said UNHCR will continue to conduct the third country resettlement operation for the most vulnerable refugees, including single women and mothers, children at risk and to victims of torture.
Due to conflicts and political instability thousands of refugees from neighbouring countries cross into Ethiopia every month.
The influx is highest from Eritrea, where people are fleeing from forced conscription and open-ended military service, as well as in protest against political repression.
UNHCR says voluntary repatriation is often not an option due to safety concerns. Therefore resettlement to a third country is often the only appropriate solution, particularly for Eritrean refugees, as it allows them to safely start a new life.
According to UNHCR report, Ethiopia received over 5,000 new refugees over the last two months, bringing the total number of refugees in the Horn of Africa nation to over 427,000.
The new arrivals came from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.
Currently there are 240,000 Somalis, 81,000 Eritreans and 70,000 South Sudanese in Ethiopia. The remaining over 36,000 are from Kenya, Sudan and other east African countries.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

- Kenya arrested Over 70 Ethiopian refugees as aliens in Nairobi- Standard Digital News

Over 70 Ethiopian aliens arrested in Nairobi Updated Tuesday, December 10th 2013 at 08:25 GMT +3 0 inShare By Cyrus Ombati Nairobi, Kenya: Over 70 Ethiopians were Monday night arrested in a police operation in Nairobi’s Mlango Kubwa area. The 71 men and women told police they were headed for South Africa in search of employment. Starehe OCPD Barasa Wabomba said they also arrested a man who was hosting the aliens. Police said they arrested 58 of them earlier on Monday and 13 in the night. The suspects were in a house when police stormed and it has been difficult for police to handle them because they neither speak English nor Swahili. It is not the first time that such suspects on transit are arrested. Tens of Ethiopians are annually arrested in Kenya while on transit. It is not clear how they manage to navigate through various police roadblocks. 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Sunday, December 8, 2013

12 Ethiopian illegals nabbed in Bulawayo, Zibabewe

by Staff Reporter
BULAWAYO police raided a house in Emganwini suburb on Wednesday and arrested a dozen illegal immigrants from Ethiopia who are believed to have been awaiting onward transportation to South Africa.

Also arrested during the raid were four residents who provided them with a hide out.
The Ethiopians, who do not speak English, were ordered to remain in custody when they appeared before a local court because there is no interpreter versed with their native language.
The Ethiopians, all aged between 20 and 30, entered the country without any form of identification and were being sheltered by locals, some of them cross-border transporters known locally as omalayitsha.
On Thursday, the all-men group were charged for entering the country illegally before Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove.
Prosecutors say all 12 come from Softah Village, Gesade Town, in Ethiopia.
They were transported, fed and housed by Gabriel Murindagomo, Nkosilathi Dube, Bhekani Dliwayo and Nqobile Ndebele who are now facing charges of assisting people to enter or remain in Zimbabwe illegally.
The magistrate postponed the case to December 10, telling the twelve: “I need to make consultations before I deliberate on this case.
“There’s a need to consider getting an interpreter since the 12 accused men do not understand English. They will remain in custody.”
The magistrate also ordered the four accused of transporting and sheltering them to return to court on Monday morning.
Prosecutors say the 12 illegals were dropped at Number 5847 Emganwini on Tuesday afternoon by a South Africa-registered Toyota Quantum.
Police from Nkulumane Police Station then received a tip-off and proceeded to the house where they rounded up all 12 with little resistance.
The police asked the men to identify themselves and they said they had no identity cards and that they were from Ethiopia.
Indications are that the 12 came to Bulawayo from Harare and were supposed to be ferried to South Africa via illegal crossing points.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Saudis expel 100,000 Ethiopians - AlJazeera English

Up to 50,000 more citizens to be repatriated after crackdown on migrant workers in the Gulf kingdom.

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Ethiopians have held protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Addis Ababa against the crackdown [AFP]
Ethiopia has repatriated more than 100,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia following a violent crackdown on migrant workers, Addis Ababa's foreign ministry has said.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said on Thursday that up to 50,000 more citizens were still expected to return.
"Last night arrivals from Saudi reached 100,620," Tedros said in a written statement.
"All citizens that were detained in Riyadh deportation camps are back."
Ethiopia started repatriating its citizens from Saudi Arabia last month after a seven-month amnesty period for undocumented immigrants expired, sparking violent protests between Ethiopian migrants and Saudi police.
Foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said repatriation efforts had been "successful so far".
"The number is increasing over time," Mufti said.

The Ethiopian government said three of its citizens were killed in the clashes with Saudi police.
The government said protesters did not have a permit to demonstrate and confirmed that arrests had been made, but did not say how many.
Human Rights Watch has urged Saudi authorities to launch an investigation into the violence, and warned of a potential humanitarian disaster for workers held in custody.
Repatriation operation
Dina said the repatriation operation, which started on November 13, could take two more weeks to complete.
"Hopefully we will do it as soon as possible," he said.
"If the current pace continues, it may be it will be in a week or two."
Large numbers of Ethiopians leave the country every year looking for work abroad, often in the Middle East.
With 91 million citizens, Ethiopia is Africa's second most populous nation and also one of the continent's poorest; the majority of people live on less than two dollars a day.
Though it is one of the fastest growing economies on the continent, about 27 percent of women and 13 percent of men are jobless, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Facing limited job prospects and harsh economic realities back home, large numbers of Ethiopian men and women head to the oil- and gas-rich Arabian peninsula each year seeking work.
The UN refugee agency says that more than 51,000 Ethiopians risked their lives this year alone on the risky sea crossing across the Gulf of Aden, where reports are common of ships sinking or refugees drowning after being thrown out too far from the shore.
Migrants from other nations are also returning home from Saudi Arabia.
Last week, official media in Sudan said more than 11,000 workers had returned voluntarily after the amnesty ended.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sudan: UN Commits U.S.$100,000 to Help Ethiopian Returnees From Saudi Arabia

Addis Ababa — The United Nations' Refugee Agency on Tuesday announced that it has contributed $100,000 to support tens of thousands of Ethiopians returning from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia recently launched a crackdown against illegal immigrants, leading to some 23,000 Ethiopians surrendering to the police. Ethiopia originally projected that they would have to repatriate some 30,000 undocumented citizens but officials say that 70,000 have already returned.
Flights between Saudi Arabia and Addis Ababa have increased from six to twelve a day to keep up with demand at an estimated cost of around $25 million.
The UNHCR funds will support the Ethiopian government's mass evacuation efforts in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and for the rehabilitation of the returnees.
"The items include 10,000 blankets, 15,000 packs of sanitary pads, 30,000 bars of soap as well as an ambulance for use by IOM in the response effort" said Kisut Gebre Egziabher, UNHCR's senior public information associate.
UNHCR representative, Moses Okello, handed over the items to Mitiku Kassa, State Minister of Agriculture, who is responsible for disaster risk management and food security.
At the handing over occasion Okello said that although UNHCR's responsibility mainly focuses on refugees - people who have been forced by circumstances to leave their countries and seek asylum in another country - his office cannot standby and look on when Ethiopia is experiencing an emergency.
The Ethiopian government acknowledged the UN refugee agency's support and lauded it as "important humanitarian gesture".
The handing over was witnessed by Josiah Ogina, the IOM's chief of mission in Ethiopia, as well as government officials and diplomats.
Gebre Egziabher, told Sudan Tribune that the UNHCR has also contributed 500,000 birr i(over $26,000) to support to Ethiopia's media campaign aimed to raise awareness about the dangers of human trafficking and irregular migration.
The official said the Ethiopian government was working with the UNHCR and IOM to educate the public and refugees on illegal migration awareness.
Recently the US government criticised international aid organisations for doing little to assist Ethiopians being deported from Saudi Arabia.
The UNHCR aid to Ethiopian returnees came as the number of returnees' exceeds government's initial projections of repatriating around 30,000 citizens.
According to Ethiopia's ministry of foreign affairs, the number of illegal Ethiopian migrants who have returned home since the mass repatriation operation was launched on 13 November has reached nearly 80,000.
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