Ethiopian migrants prepare to board a flight back home from Tanzania. Credit: IOM
Ethiopian migrants prepare to board a flight back home from Tanzania. Credit: IOM

The IOM reports that a project co-funded by the EU has enabled 300 Ethiopians to return voluntarily from Tanzania in June.

The UN agency for migration IOM has said that this month it has provided assistance for the voluntary return of 300 Ethiopian migrants that had been stuck in Tanzania. Of them, only 6 were females and 294 were males - 191 of whom under age 18. The returns were made possible by the Better Migration Management (BMM) initiative, a program lasting several years and co-funded by the European Union's Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF for Africa) as well as the German Economic and Development Cooperation Ministry. 

300 identified as vulnerable in centers 

The migrants left Tanzania on four flights in June, with the latest carrying a group of 84 migrants leaving on June 19. Before the voluntary returns, the IOM - in collaboration with Ethiopian and Tanzanian government officials - carried out a three-week mission in several detention facilities in Tanzania to verify the migrants' identities. During their activities, 300 irregular migrants who had been assessed as vulnerable due to their medical needs, gender or age expressed the desire to return home. As a result, Ethiopian immigration officials issued travel documents for them, while the Tanzanian government granted an amnesty for their illegal presence in the country. 

Collaboration between states essential 

Welcoming the migrants when they returned to Addis Ababa was IOM personnel in Ethiopia, who provided medical assistance, psychosocial support and orientation. All of those repatriated later undergo an interview to determine their reinsertion needs, which could include economic support and reintegration assistance. ''I would like to thank donors for their continued support for the government (of Tanzania) on this growing migration in the country,'' said Anna Makakala, General Commissioner for Tanzanian Immigration Services. She added that the collaboration between states of origin, transit and destination is fundamental to deal with these challenges and to plan a path through cross-border cooperation. 

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