ADDIS ABABA, — With about one-and-a-half months of the Qatar Amnesty Plan period already over, 117 Ethiopians have so far availed themselves of the opportunity to leave the Gulf state without facing prosecution, the Ethiopian Embassy in Qatar says.

Qatar has offered a three-month amnesty for illegal residents to “leave the country without facing any legal consequences for overstay”.

The Minister Counselor at the Ethiopian Embassy in Doha, Shibru Mamo Kedida, estimates that “about 2,000 undocumented Ethiopian expatriates are likely to be staying in Qatar”.

He was quoted by the Qatar Tribune newspaper as saying that the Embassy had completely supported the amnesty plan by the Qatari government so that Ethiopians residing in the country illegally could return home and start their lives afresh.

“We are happy with this amnesty plan. Many Ethiopians after arriving in Qatar have been cheated by brokers who sell visas and expose them to various problems. These Ethiopians are forced to work without a Qatar ID and this amnesty is a golden opportunity for them.”

The official said the Qatari government should take strict action against brokers who dupe Ethiopians. Shibru added that the Ethiopian Embassy was giving all the necessary support to those who approached the Search and Follow-Up Department it had set up.

“We prepare travel documents like ‘laissez passer’ for them. We also offer translation services for those who cannot speak Arabic and provide them with the necessary information,” he said.

Shibru also said that in order to reach out to the Ethiopians, the embassy was sending information through community heads, postings on the embassy’s Facebook page and also using other communication media.

“We also translate the proclamation in Amharic and disseminate timely information to our nationals,” he said.

Source: Nam News Network