Ethiopia has challenged a recent report by a human rights group that said thousands of Tigrayans deported from Saudi Arabia are being ill-treated.
Foreign affairs spokeswoman Dina Mufti referred to the report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) as an irresponsible move to undermine government efforts.
“The report is not only unfounded, but an irresponsible move aimed at discrediting all efforts by the Ethiopian government to to ease the pain of our returning citizens from Saudi Arabia.
“We have repatriated more than 40,000 Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia in just a few months, regardless of their ethnic group,” said Mr Dina .
HRW said on Wednesday that hundreds of Tigrayans deported from Saudi Arabia where they were looking for work arrived at Addis Ababa airport just to get to be held there in overcrowded and pathetic conditions.
Mr Dina claimed that the government was indeed making sure that the group was not returned to the war zone.
“On the other hand, that is Ethiopian government is aware of the ongoing plight of Ethiopians in various prisons in Saudi Arabia.
“Aware of this, a committee composed of high-ranking government officials, religious leaders and various stakeholders is finalizing preparations to to travel to Saudi Arabia to discuss measures, ”added Mr Dina.
The rights group said so in January 2021, the Ethiopian government announced that it was repatriating 40,000 of its detainees in Saudi Arabia Nationals working together, starting at 1,000 per week.
According to HRW, 40 percent of returnees from Saudi Arabia between November 2020 and June 2021 were Tigrayans.
The group f added that deportations increased significantly between late June and mid-July, with over 30,000 reportedly deported.
“The surge in returns coincided with increases in profiling, arbitrary arrests and violent ones Disappearance of Tigrayans by the Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa after the withdrawal of the Ethiopian federal troops from the Tigray region and an expansion of the Tigray conflict, “said HRW.
In November 2020, the United Nations mission in South Sudan said (UNMISS) three Ethiopian peacekeepers in action were withdrawn and deported to their country without due process.
This came after reports emerged that three Ethiopian soldiers of the Tigray ethnic group had been returned to their country, allegedly to her influence.
UNMISS officials said the deportation would have violated her human rights if she was on her ethnic background rgrund was based.