ADDIS ABABA. – The Ethiopian government on Tuesday said some 53 Ethiopians that had been imprisoned in Mozambique for illegal entry were expected to arrive back in Ethiopia yesterday.
The 53 Ethiopians were en-route to South Africa with the help of traffickers before they were detained, according to a statement by the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the ministry, the 53 Ethiopian men were released after a series of discussions between the Ethiopian embassy in South Africa and the government of Mozambique.
The ministry had previously announced the repatriation of close to 150 Ethiopians in Zambia. Ethiopia, in most cases, uses its embassy in Zimbabwe and South Africa to coordinate diplomatic activities with Mozambique, as well as other Southern African countries such as Zambia and Angola.
Human traffickers reportedly use various countries as transit points to smuggle Ethiopians to South Africa, which is home to tens of thousands of both legal and undocumented Ethiopians.
Despite a growing economy and public awareness campaigns on the dangers of human trafficking by the Ethiopian government, it is estimated that thousands of Ethiopians are trafficked to South Africa annually where they are mainly engaged in the informal economy. – Xinhua