Feb 19, 2013

Regional mixed migration summary for January 2013

New Arrivals: An estimated 6,232 Ethiopians made their way to Yemen in January 2013. Proportionally, Ethiopians dominate new arrival figures representing 79.4 % per cent of the total in January. Oromos remain the ethnic majority in the new arrivals cohort.

Refugees in Ethiopia: In January, 5,312 new refugee arrivals in Ethiopia were recorded. As a result, the total refugee population has risen slightly by 1.3% to 381,722 refugees hosted in Ethiopia. Over half of this group remain Somalis, followed by Sudanese, Eritreans, Kenyans, and refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

IDPs: Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that a villagization progamme in Ethiopia’s Gambella Province has left thousands homeless. The Government is pushing communities out of their ancestral land which they have leased to foreign horticultural companies. Some Ethiopian farmers allegedly report that confiscation of land without compensation by government officials had left them without means to support their families. High taxation has also been quoted as having informed decisions to leave. The Ethiopian government have normally been reluctant to state the number of IDPs in their country but recently one ministry reportedly claimed there were over 200,000 IDPs currently in Ethiopia.

Influx of Somali Refugees to Ethiopia: The Ethiopian Prime Minster announced at an AU Summit in January that Somali refugees should return to their homeland. A regular flow back and forth by refugees between the Dollo Ado refugee camp and Somalia is evident and continued in January. It has been speculated that the Somali refugees may be moving back to the camp to benefit from food rations.

International Labor Migration: Ethiopia continues to be a major source country for organized and regulated labour migration to the Arabian Peninsula and Middle East. The trends suggest labour migration is rising to meet the high demand for domestic workers in particular. In 2012, nearly 160,000 Ethiopian women went to work in Saudi Arabia by the end of July, which figure is 10 times the number of the previous year. A report by Bloomberg citing data from the Ethiopian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs attributed the development to the dwindling traditional Asian labour migrant market.

Southward movement: Large numbers of Ethiopian migrants continue to move south through Kenya towards South Africa. However, migrants and asylum seekers from Ethiopia and Somalia are no longer as welcome as they were in the past. Routes and methods are changing, for example, smuggled migrants previously used boats along Lake Malawi in an effort to reach South Africa. However, as a result of increased police patrols and a radical redeployment of the police who were suspected of being involved in the smuggling syndicate in Malawi, migrants are now using the vast Nyika National Park transiting through Zambia, Mozambique or Zimbabwe to the Republic of South Africa. 



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