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    About 400,000 undocumented Ethiopians live in Saudi Arabia-Official

    APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

    About 400,000 undocumented Ethiopians are estimated to live in Saudi Arabia and only 23,000 of them have so far taken travel documents, a top government official announced on Thursday.

    Meles Alem, Spokesperson of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) told reporters that the government of Ethiopia has been working to ensure the safe returns of undocumented Ethiopians right after the announcement of the amnesty which came into force on March 29.

    Saudi Arabia announced the “Nation Free of Violators” campaign on March 19, to help undocumented expatriates regularize their status.

    With only 43 days left to the deadline, the number of undocumented Ethiopians who have been returning to their home country is still less, the spokesperson said

    He said the government of Ethiopia is urging its citizens who have been living in Saudi Arabia without residence and work permit to take advantage of the 90-day amnesty granted by Saudi Arabia.

    As part of the efforts to encourage them, it granted duty-free privileges allowing them to bring home 21 types of personal properties.

    Meles called on Ethiopians to take all the advantages to avoid acts that will endanger their lives.

    Foreigners staying illegally in Saudi Arabia will face detention and pay fines of 15,000-50,000 riyals if they fail to leave the country within the amnesty.

    Under the amnesty, however, undocumented foreigners will be able to leave the kingdom without paying any fines or being subject to legal action.


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