30 March 2016 – France has taken steps towards tackling the thousands of Ethiopian refugees.
The interior ministry and Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless (OFPRA) unveiled plans to deport 11,000 Ethiopians by the end of 2016.
A “national coordinator”, Kleber Arhoul, has also been appointed to oversee the arrival of refugees in different cities while the government is working with non-profit organisations, housing associations and local groups to resolve the housing shortage.
The state-funded refugee agency OFPRA, which has been tasked with selecting which refugees in Germany will be allowed onto French soil, is the main organisation responsible for “coordinating” France’s response to the deportation plan.
For the moment, only refugees from Syria, Iraq or Eritrea will be accepted in the country, because they are more likely to get emergency housing and obtain residency papers.
In an interview with APA in November, Austrian Ambassador to Ethiopia mentioned that 40 percent of Eritrean migrants in Europe are Ethiopians.
He said, “thousands of Ethiopians continue to migrate illegally to Saudi Arabia and South Africa, those who fled to Europe usually claim they are from Eritrea as that have a better chance of recognition for asylum.
‘The “mass exodus” of Ethiopians that no one speaks about attracts over 100,000 Ethiopians annually to the Middle East’, said Ambassador Melan.
“As for the genuine Ethiopians, the only chance to get asylum in Europe is only for opposition politicians or homosexuals or anyone who can demonstrate persecution,” said Ambassador Melan. “Critical journalists also often flee the country.”