Sudan on Friday released 1,400 Ethiopians after serving time in jails
Meles Alem, spokesperson of the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, told journalists that many of the Ethiopians were detained in Sudan for illegal entry, while some had been imprisoned for involvement in such criminal activities as money laundering and human trafficking.
She said the release was made possible following Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visit to Sudan on May 3, where the issue of rights and protection of Ethiopian nationals, including those in Sudanese jails, was discussed.
It is estimated that thousands of Ethiopians enter Sudan illegally every year, either to work in the Sudanese informal sector or use it as a transit point on their way to be trafficked across Libya and Egypt, the Mediterranean Sea to reach their final destination of mainland Europe.
In spite of a growing economy and public awareness campaigns on the dangers of illegal migration by the Ethiopian government, thousands of Ethiopians looking for better economic opportunities are trafficked annually to foreign countries.