Addis Ababa May 16/2017 The Inter Religious Council of Ethiopia (IRCE) has called on Ethiopians living in Saudi Arabia without permit to return to their home country before the deadline set the Saudi Government.
This urgent call was made at a press conference held today.
IRCE Deputy Board Chairperson, Sheik Oumer Imam said he had met with some of Ethiopians who have lived in Saudi Arabia for the last 20 years.
He noted that most of them complain that they have no sufficient money to take back home and support their families.
Sheik Oumer stressed that they must believe that Allah will help them lead a better life here in their country; and they should take this opportunity to return safely rather than waiting to later face the consequences.
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church Deputy General Manager, Abba Hailemariam Melese expressed the concern of the IRCE for the Ethiopians and urged them to come home in the few weeks left.
Appreciating the efforts made by the government, Abba Hailemariam pointed out that citizens are benefiting from the ongoing rapid economic growth regardless of ethnicity, sex and religion.
Ethiopians living illegally in Saudi Arabia have therefore all the opportunity here in their home country to grow, prosper and benefit from the prevailing economic growth while relieving themselves and their family from any threats, he stressed.
Religious leaders, the elderly and others were urged by the Council to inform the Ethiopians about the imprisonment and penalty they will face, if they fail to return safely in the remaining days.
The establishment of the command post under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate the safe return of Ethiopians and the privilege given to the returnees to exempt them from tax on 21 items are appreciable, Abba Hailemariam said.
He further stated that IRCE will stand by the side of the returnees in rehabilitating and providing them with the necessary support.
President of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, Haji Mohammedamin Jemal said on his part families, friends and everyone must keep on telling Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia to return as quickly as possible within the given period.
There are more than 200,000 illegal Ethiopians migrants.
It is recalled that the decree issued by Saudi Arabia before 49 days mainly targets migrants with no permanent residence (runaway workers) and residents with expired residence permits.