ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

More than 12,000 undocumented Ethiopian migrants had been flown back to their country since the coronavirus outbreak, the International Migration Organization said.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Alemayehu Seifeselassie, IOM’s communication officer in Ethiopia, said: “The returnees are mainly from Sudan, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Djibouti and Kenya.”

“Since April 2020, the total number of Ethiopians who have returned is over 12,032,” he said.

“We expect the return to continue over the coming weeks,” he added.

The returnees, according to reports, include 11 Ethiopians who survived the gruesome incident occurred in March in Mozambique where 64 Ethiopians were found dead in a cargo container on a truck bound for South Africa.

More than one million Ethiopian migrants work in the Middle East, many of whom are undocumented and now stranded after the outbreak of the pandemic.

Last month, Saudi Arabia flew hundreds of migrants back to Ethiopia. A first Saudi flight carrying hundreds of migrants was denied landing at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, with Ethiopia claiming it had not been informed beforehand about the operation.

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