Kenya pardons over 130 imprisoned Ethiopian migrants


Kenyan authorities have released 139 Ethiopians who had been imprisoned for entering the country illegally.

According to Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya, Meles Alem, the Ethiopians were released from six different jails around the capital, Nairobi.

The Ethiopians had been held in Kiambu, Gigiri, Pangani, Jogoo, Buruburu and Dandora custody facilities for a period ranging from one to nine months.

Mr Alem said that the prisoners were sent back home after they were released on pardon grant.

He, however, neither disclosed the circumstances of their (the migrants) release nor mention when they were freed or returned home.

The diplomat did not respond to the The EastAfrican’s quires.


“Kenya pardoned 139 Ethiopians who had entered Kenya illegally to travel to South Africa,” the Ambassador shared on his official Facebook page.

“We thank the Kenyan government for its mercy” he added.

Previously, Kenyan authorities have taken to custody hundreds of illegal migrants including few human traffickers from Ethiopia.

Encouraged by some successful peers, every other year, hundreds of Ethiopian migrants take the precarious journey across several African countries in their dream to reach South Africa in search of better work.

Many start their journey by illegally entering neighbouring Kenya before crossing to Tanzania, which is often used as a transit route for East Africans migrating to South Africa.

Last year, former Tanzanian President Joseph Magufuli ordered the release of 1,789 Ethiopians imprisoned for entering the country illegally.

Mr Magufuli’s pardon came after meeting with his Ethiopian counterpart Sahle-Work Zewde, who was in an official tour to Tanzania.

Although Ethiopia is considered one of fastest growing economies in the continent, high unemployment rate coupled with conflicts is driving thousands out of the country in search of lucrative jobs.

Young female Ethiopians migrate in their thousands to the wealthy gulf nations seeking better jobs.

However, many of these economic migrants are subjected to varied forms of abuses at the hands of their employers, including to rape, torture and even death.

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