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Kenya: Dozens of Ethiopian migrants arrested

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

October 20, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – Kenyan authorities this week arrested 53 illegal migrants from Ethiopia. Two Ethiopian human traffickers were also taken to custody along with the group.

According to Kenyan media outlets, the migrants were attempting to travel to the capital, Nairobi hoping to get Jobs before they were caught by police officers in Samburu county near the Ethiopian border.

Kenyan police said it will press charges against the group of migrants for illegally entering Kenya further calling on the Kenyan government to tighten laws and take tougher punishment against human traffickers.

Hundreds of Ethiopians destined for South Africa illegally enter neighbouring Kenya before traveling to Tanzania, which is often used as a transit route for East Africans to migrating to South Africa.

Although Ethiopia is one of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, the unemployment rate is still high driving tens of thousands of mainly young female Ethiopians to migrate to the wealthy oil-rich gulf nations seeking lucrative jobs.

However, many economic migrants are subjected to different types of abuse at the hands of their employers, including to rape and torture. As a result many of them commit suicide or suffer mental illness.

TRAVEL BAN TO SAUDI

Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn earlier this week said that the country will temporarily suspend travel to Saudi Arabia for Ethiopians seeking jobs in the Arab nation.

The premier said the ban will be put to effect as of next month and will remain in place for the coming six months.

He said the aim of the six month ban was to allow concerned government bodies to prepare facilities for migrants to receive proper training lessons before leaving.

The lessons intend to create awareness on how economic migrants ensure their rights once they fall in the hands of employers.

It is believed that the pre-departure trainings will eventually curb the growing mistreatment of Ethiopians who mostly work as house maids in the Arab world.

(ST)