Despite abuses, expelled Ethiopians hope to be smuggled back to Saudi Arabia

The number of Ethiopians being smuggled and trafficked to the Middle East has surged in recent years, as brokers lure the poor and unemployed with promises of a better life. Saudi Arabia has publicly said it will deport or jail an additional 400,000 or so Ethiopians it believes live there illegally, following the August expiry of an amnesty allowing them to leave without punishment.

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“People may prefer to stay there even with the threat of imprisonment,” Abebaw Minyaw, a psychology professor at Addis Ababa University, said in an interview in his office. Experts say Ethiopians are likely to keep risking their lives as migrants because they lack opportunities at home.

Hundreds of Ethiopian and Somali migrants were forced from boats into rough seas off Yemen in August by smugglers trying to avoid authorities or armed groups on shore in war-torn Yemen, IOM said. At least 60 migrants drowned.

Source Credit: Reuters
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