Undocumented Ethiopian migrants ordered out of Somalia's Puntland


GAROWE, Somalia - Several undocumented Ethiopian migrants have been ordered out of Garowe, the regional administrative capital of Puntland, with the directive geared towards realigning the city's priorities for national security defense and protection.

Abdikhadir Mohamed Mohamud Geddi, the mayor of Garowe, said all illegal migrants within the city ought to leave with immediate effect or face the law. Those who will not abide by the order, he adds, will have to be deported to their country.

The mayor was speaking to reporters on Sunday in Garowe during the Eid-Al-Adha, adding that the security of the town will not be compromised. There are many Ethiopians in Garowe who take part in business and other community transformation activities.

"I want to send a message to the Ethiopian people who are in the city illegally. We have worked hard to welcome these people, but now the time has come. We want to tell those who do not have permits to leave the city of Garowe."

In recent years, many Ethiopians have flocked to Somalia, particularly in Puntland, the SSC-Khatumo regions, and the Somaliland area. Some Ethiopians have also taken over small jobs, including shoe cleaning.

The order comes a few months after the Federal Republic of Somalia closed down Ethiopian consulates in Garowe and Hargeisa in Somaliland following differences between Mogadishu and Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian ambassador in Somalia was also chased away.

Somalia accuses Ethiopia of annexation after Addis Ababa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Somaliland which would give it exclusive access to the the Red Sea. The MoU was widely criticised by the international community.


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