The Ethiopian government is working to free 70 Ethiopians that are imprisoned in the Southern Africa nation of Zambia earlier this month, an Ethiopian official said on Friday.
Speaking to Journalists, Meles Alem Spokesperson for Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said his ministry is working with the Ethiopian embassy in Lusaka, Zambia, to free the imprisoned Ethiopians.
Zambian Police announced on October 15, they had apprehended 70 Ethiopians in a suspected case of human smuggling.
He further said MoFA has recently assisted in the repatriation of 147 Ethiopians who were languishing in Zambian prisons some of whom were serving up to 15 years in prison for illegal entry to Zambia.
Human traffickers use countries like Zambia as a transit point to smuggle Ethiopians to Africa’s largest economy South Africa, which is home to tens of thousands of both legal and undocumented Ethiopians.
Despite a growing economy and public awareness campaigns on the dangers of human trafficking by the Ethiopian government, it is estimated thousands of Ethiopians are trafficked to South Africa annually where they are mainly engaged in the informal economy. Enditem