Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services has facilitated the return of 123 Ethiopian nationals with support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Wednesday, National Immigration Public Relations Officer, Wellington Chiponde said the 123 were among the group of 134 irregular migrants, including 13 unaccompanied minors from Ethiopia who were detained by the Department of Immigration.

He said the immigrants were found stranded in the borders of Malawi between November 2020 and March 2021.

“When IOM learnt about the plight of the migrants, it offered to assist their voluntary return to their country of origin. Of the 134 Ethiopians, 123 are expected to leave the country today (Wednesday) through the IOM facilitated chartered flight,” Chiponde said.

He added that the remaining 11 migrants will be flown out through traditional commercial flight as the chartered plane could not accommodate all the 134 migrants.

IOM has been working closely with the Ministry of Health to facilitate Covid-19 tests and other health assessments to determine the migrants’ fitness to travel, according to Chiponde.

Chiponde said immigration formalities subjected the migrants to a verification exercise of authenticating their nationalities which was facilitated by IOM and conducted by the Department of Immigration and officials from the Government of Ethiopia.

Source:MBC

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