Urgent Appeal on Behalf of Ethiopians Stranded in Yemen – The Global Alliance

April 6, 2015

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians (GARE) was established in response to the crisis emanating from the unexpected decision by the Government of Saudi Arabia to expel Ethiopian migrant workers. GARE campaigned vigorously and raised global awareness and gained responses from the Ethiopian and Saudi governments. In 2013, more than 160,000 migrant workers were airlifted back to Ethiopia. Sadly, with few exceptions, those who returned did not find meaningful work in their home country. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the government of Yemen estimates that of the one million refugees in the country, majority are Ethiopians.

IOM, through which the Global Alliance has channeled financial assistance in support of those in dire need in Yemen, has informed GARE that the flow of Ethiopians, including 15 and 16 year old boys and girls is on the rise. Each month, ten thousand Ethiopians enter Yemen via Djibouti in smugglers’ boats, many dying en-route. In the process, many Ethiopian migrants suffer from human rights abuses including torture, detention, starvation, abductions and forcible extortion of money by criminal gangs as well as sexual violence. IOM has been instrumental in providing lifesaving assistance such as water, medical care, sanitation, meals and nutrition to the most vulnerable Ethiopian migrants, especially young girls with children who are housed in crowded camps.

In the past few weeks with Yemen going through a full-scale civil war, the situation has changed dramatically making these refugees/migrant workers more vulnerable than ever before. Almost all human rights organizations including IOM have closed their local offices. Assistance to Ethiopian refugees/migrants is difficult in the best of times. The war puts every Ethiopian refugee/migrant worker at risk for their lives. Many countries such as Sudan have responded quickly and pulled out their citizens from Yemen. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian government has not responded to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian citizens scattered throughout Yemen. Reuters reported last week that more than 40 Ethiopians were killed and 60 wounded when Saudi Arabia’s aircraft bombed rebels near the camps where Ethiopian refugees were sheltered by UNHCR.

Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians is extremely concerned that thousands of Ethiopian citizens will be killed or wounded as the war continues to escalate and expand.

We, therefore, urge:

– the Ethiopian government to airlift these stranded Ethiopian citizens back to their country immediately.

– the UNHCR, to urgently transfer the Ethiopian refugees to safer locations.

-the International Red Cross, the International Red Crescent and other humanitarian agencies to respond to the plight of Ethiopian migrant workers/refugees at the earliest opportunity.

– the government of Saudi Arabia to desist from indiscriminate bombing of refugee camps and support emergency assistance efforts to help Ethiopian refugees who have become victims of its air raids in Yemen.

– the United States government and its allies to use their influence to urge restraint on the part of Saudi Arabia and the Arab coalition forces not to target innocent civilians.

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians recognizes that the grim socio-economic and political situation in Ethiopia is driving thousands of young girls and boys from their homeland each year. In spite of the grave dangers to their physical safety en-route and upon arrival in Yemen they still continue to flee from Ethiopia. The current humanitarian crisis Ethiopian migrant workers and refugees face in Yemen is beyond their control. We plead with the global community to respond to this dire emergency before more infants, children, girls and boys perish through no fault of their own.

Finally, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians calls upon all Ethiopians and members of civilized society to join us in demanding that the Ethiopian government respond immediately to the plight of its citizens in Yemen. GARE will do everything to raise awareness about the unfolding tragedy and the dire circumstances thousands of Ethiopian citizens stranded in Yemen are facing. We urge all Ethiopians around the world to join GARE in its effort to mitigate the pending humanitarian emergency.

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Posted by on April 6, 2015. Filed under COMMENTARY. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to Urgent Appeal on Behalf of Ethiopians Stranded in Yemen – The Global Alliance

  1. Namaga

    April 26, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Global Alliance is an Ethiopian diaspora’s Christian extremist response to Saudi Arabai’s exercise of law and order, and works against Saudi’s sovereignty. The Saudi legitimate exercise of immigration law was indiscriminate. It did favor Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus or Bhudists. Nor did it favor Arabs, Europeans than Africans. In fact most of the affected persons were Pakistanis and Indians rather than Ethiopians. Indians and Pakistanis accepted the right of the Saudi government to exercise its sovereign rights. But only Ethiopians immigrants violently opposed the new immigration law. They went on a public demonstration, looted Shops, beat up any local Saudi they encountered and killed police.

    The Saudi government was forgiving. It gave the undocumented residents about 11 months to voluntarily leave or register. And with it amnesty from prosecution for breaking the immigration and residing and working illegally in Saudi Arabia.

    An organization formed on a lie, on falsehood can not serve Ethiopians well, Muslims or Christians. You are not our heroes as you only multiply liabilities. An organization that exists without our will and whose actions we have no control over and consulted with. It’s a gang of thugs who usurp people’s authority by claiming it is accepted by it by claiming it knows what is best for it.

  2. Namaga

    April 27, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    By its own admission, Ethiopia airlifted 160,000 illegal migrant Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia in 2013. It’s a huge number but a fraction of the total illegal residents in Saudi Arabia, the bulk of whom were Indians and Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis. Over a million illegal residents sucking the health care system, education and other social services. These millions did not enter legally. Their presence is the result of human traffickers. In the law against human trafficking it’s both the agents and the trafficked that bear responsibility for their action. It’s not the country whose immigration laws violated by illegal migrants and human traffickers that should get condemned for arresting or returning the illegal migrants. GARE has no just cause to blame Saudi Arabia. It rather joined the human traffickers in Addis who charge exorbitant money to smuggle Ethiopians out of Ethiopia without proper exit visa and without securing jobs for them approved by the Saudi officials.
    The same human traffickers may be are the ones who roam around rural villages looking orphaned children and children from poor families. I heard such story took place in Kembata. Some times and in some places kidnapping unguarded children, for adoption into the USA , Canada, and Australia. Almost all these human trafficking gangs are residents of Addis. Human trafficking is considered a form of slave trade.

    Ethiopian illegal migrants are suffering in jails in Christian countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and beaten and burned in South Africa. GARE kept silent bout their languish.

    GARE should stop persecute Saudi Arabia for being a Muslim country. GARE should stop disrespecting Ethio Muslims by way of religious bigotry against foreign Muslim countries. GARE should uphold the law against illegal migration and human trafficking and condemn human traffickers in Addis of young Ethiopians for the dual purpose of ‘slave’ labor and sexual exploitation. It should rather work with the concerned organizations to combat human trafficking of Ethiopian from Addis for adoption or labor.