Migration is an unstoppable movement, the act of seeking a new life in a different place. Recent studies indicate that 3.3 percent of the world population are migrants. According to United Nation report the number of international migrants reached 244 million in 2015 for the world as a whole, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2000.
“The rise in the number of international migrants reflects the increasing importance of international migration, which has become an integral part of our economies and societies. Well-managed migration brings important benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants and their families,” noted Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, the importance of international migration.
Around 31 million Africans, or little more than 3 percent of the continent’s population, have migrated internationally (including within Africa), a report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) reported in 2016.
The Ethiopian News Authority in its news states that some 2 million Ethiopians have been living abroad including in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has one of the major shares of destination, based on recent estimation. Despite the stated facts, undocumented Ethiopians living in Saudi Arabia who are estimated up to 500,000 have entered into a deadline to leave from the Kingdom within three months that was given prior.
And 3 months ago, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that illegal foreign nationals to leave the kingdom without penalties started on March 29, 2017. In this 3 months amnesty period, Of the 111,000 Ethiopians who have secured exit visas to leave Saudi Arabia, only 45,000 of them have so far returned to their homeland. During this period, a command post that will lead the repatriation mission and opening offices in a number of cities to facilitate the safe return of Ethiopians was established. And the ministry of Foreign Affairs had also sent a 12-person diplomatic team to Saudi Arabia to help the Ethiopians migrants return home before the 90 days deadline ended.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, had sent a letter to Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud prior to the end of the 90 days, requesting him to extend the amnesty. According to Saudi’s General Directorate of Passports, the amnesty was extended by a month to allow those undocumented migrants who failed to take advantage of the amnesty due to various reasons to return to their respective countries peacefully.
The Saudi General Directorate of Passports while explaining the reason behind the extension of the period says it was extended by a month to allow those undocumented migrants who failed to take advantage of the amnesty due to various reasons to return to their respective countries peacefully.
It’s been a week since the extended one month amnesty period had been given to illegal (undocumented) migrants by the Saudi Arabia Government. Yet there is no guarantee that all the registered illegal migrant would return to their home country within the extended period.
What will happen to those unregistered illegal migrants in the future is also unclear.
By Beruk Ayalew
Source: ENA, FBC, UN 2015 Report.