The International Organization for Migration Special Liaison Office in Ethiopia (IOM Ethiopia Office) in collaboration with the Ethiopian ministry of Foreign Affairs will receive 253 Ethiopian returnees from Tanzania on Friday 28 November 2014.
The irregular migrants, who were released from Tanzanian prisons last week, were staying at temporary stations provided by IOM Tanzania until their pre-departure medical screening and travel documents were finalized.
The returnees who were intercepted at the borders of Tanzania, while irregularly traveling to South Africa, were sentenced to prison for trace passing by the Tanzanian Government. The irregular migrants were held-up in two regions in Tanzania namely Mbeya and Pwani in three prison facilities called Ruanda, Ubena and Kigongoni. Most of the returnees were released after serving their prison terms for over one year, while some were pardoned by the Tanzanian Government before serving time.
IOM in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tanzanian Immigration Department registered and verified their nationalities during their stay in prison. After the verifications, IOM Tanzania has conducted a pre-departure medical screening to assess the conditions of the migrants and chartered a flight to bring them back to their home country.
Most of the returnees originated from the Ethiopian Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples Region. Upon arrival, IOM SLO Ethiopia will provide an overnight stay accommodation and handout onward transportation allowance for them to get back to their place of origin.
All of the returnees are male with 30 of them being unaccompanied minors. IOM SLO Ethiopia in collaboration with Ministry of Women Children and Youth Affairs and UNICEF will conduct a family tracing for the unaccompanied minors and reunite them with their families in the coming weeks. Hence, until the family tracing is complete, the unaccompanied minors will be staying at the IOM Transit Centre in Addis Ababa.
At the scheduled arrival of the returnees (on November 28th 2:45 PM), Ato Tafa Tulu –Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consular Monitoring and Supporting Directorate, Ambassador Dina Mufti – Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IOM SLO Ethiopia and other government officials will be at the Addis Ababa International Airport to welcome the migrants back home.