ADDIS ABABA (HAN) August 9.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia is working to make sure that 438 Ethiopian migrants jailed in Zambia and Zimbabwe are repatriated. According to Ato. Girma Temesgen, Director General of African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Ethiopia in concert with the government of the two countries, is working to repatriate the migrants detained while trying to illegally enter South Africa. Currently, 468 Ethiopian migrants are under detention in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Girma related that those in Zambia were in particular sentenced up to 15 years in accordance with the law of the country, adding that the government is negotiating with Zambia to either pardon the migrants or hand them over to Ethiopia so that they could serve the remaining sentence in their home country. However, negotiations have proved to be difficult given most of the migrants do not have passports and any kind of travel documents. Accordingly, the Director General said a special mission will soon travel to Zambia to facilitate the process of repatriation.
It is to be recalled that half of the 931 Ethiopian migrants jailed in the two countries were repatriated in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).