First group of over 1,400 stranded Ethiopian migrants arrive from Tanzania


The costs of dangerous, sometimes lethal passages some irregular migrants make in Africa can be measured in many ways: in currencies, even in lives. Tamrat and Debebe – two young men newly returned to their native Ethiopia – measure their hardships in years.
They’re not alone. In fact, they’re among 463 Ethiopian migrants already brought home this month thanks to the cooperation of the Governments of Tanzania and Ethiopia, working together to facilitate their release and return while the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the European Union (EU) provided the post arrival assistance. The most recent return flight arrived Monday February 17.
Tamrat and Debebe are among the first of a total of 1,400 who are scheduled to be returned this way-all Ethiopians being brought home from Tanzania in the coming weeks.
The returns are supported by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (the EU-IOM Joint Initiative), with migrants being flown from Dar es Salam to Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on three Ethiopian Airlines flights. The Government of Ethiopia covered the cost of the returnees’ airfare.
The programme that brought these men home is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa covers, and has been set up in close cooperation with 26 African countries.
IOM provided fitness to travel medical screening as well as clothes and shoes prior to the returnees’ departure from Tanzania. Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, IOM also provided further medical assistance, psychosocial support, temporary accommodation at its Migrant Transit Centre, and onward transportation to their communities of return.