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Ethiopian migrants arrive in Ethiopia from Libya rescued by Egypt

Tigrai Online, May 8, 2015

Ethiopian migrants arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Libya
Ethiopian migrants arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Libya.

Two groups of Ethiopian migrants who were kidnapped by militants in Libya have arrived in Addis Ababa this week. Up to 300 hundred Ethiopians are willing and eager to come back home after the ISIS terror group killed more than 30 Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants in Libya last month. An estimated 3000 immigrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and other east African countries are reported under control of militants in Libya. The militant groups including ISIL work with illegal people traffickers to kidnap the helpless migrants who are trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea and they use Libya as a transit country.

Ethiopian migrants arrived in Cairo international airport from Libya
Ethiopian migrants arrived in Cairo, Egypt from Libya after being rescued by Egyptians forces. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi greeted them personally at the airport.

The Ethiopians were rescued by the Egyptian forces with the help of the Libyans. Egypt has been conducting military operations in the ISIS strong hold inside Libya where 21 Egyptians Christian were beheaded by ISIL in late January.

Although Egypt has a big military buildup in it’s borders with Libya, sources say this time there was no military confrontation with the militants to free the Ethiopians. The pressure from the Egyptian military and Libyan negotiations might have sped up the release of the Ethiopians. Egypt is stepping up it’s collaboration to work with Ethiopia and other African countries not only in this crisis, but in many other economic and political issues. No matter how the Egyptian did it, the Ethiopian people and government should be grateful for the Egyptian government and to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who personally received the Ethiopians in Cairo international airport.


The months of March and April have been really hard for Ethiopia with it’s citizens facing life threatening conditions in Yemen, South Africa and Libya. Many young Ethiopians are leaving their country mainly because people traffickers are enticing them with heaven on earth if they go to Europe or North America. What the traffickers don’t tell people is what kind of danger awaits the immigrants on their way to Europe. Thousands of Africans are losing their lives in the Sahara desert, in the Mediterranean Sea and at the hands of terrorists. We hope the high profile incidents of last month in Libya will show people it is not worth risking their lives to leave their country.

It is impossible to completely stop migration from any place, but it can be minimized using the right methods. The Ethiopian government should take solid actions to help the young people from becoming victims any more.

Helpful measures that could be taken to reduce people trafficking:

  1. Keep the fight against poverty by continuing the economic progress going on now.

  2. Create employment for young people with the help of the private sector.

  3. Make people trafficking one of the highest crimes in the land and punish traffickers to the fullest extent of the law.

  4. Make information about illegal immigration, people trafficking and the danger to the public easily available through government media, private websites, and social media.

  5. Establish a regional body with neighboring countries to combat people trafficking, illegal migration, and terrorisms.
  6. Make people feel safe and secure by removing any un necessary fear. Spread justice and democracy.

If the Ethiopian government and other governments in the region do all or some of the above points, the activities of people traffickers and the danger to citizens will be significantly reduced. The European countries also can play a positive role by providing financial and technological help.

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