August 10, 2019
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia disclosed on Friday that Ethiopian embassy in Pretoria and Ethiopians living in South Africa are working with South African authorities to secure the release of hundreds of Ethiopians arrested this week.
The Ministry’s spokesperson, Nebiyat Getachew, confirmed that Ethiopians and migrants from other countries were arrested in Johannesburg business center following controversy with law enforcement bodies on grounds that the latter accused the former of “illegal trade,” as reported by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.
The embassy is working to secure the release of those Ethiopians with a legal residence permit to live and work in the country, the spokesperson added.
However, the ministry seems to have a different figure regarding the number of arrested persons. According to the spokesperson, as reported by Fana Broadcasting Corporate, the number of people arrested is 600 of which only 150 are Ethiopians.
Ethiopians living in South Africa say the number could reach as high as 1500. DW Amharic reported on August 8, 2019, citing Ethiopian eyewitnesses in Johannesburg, that about 600 Ethiopians were arrested in what South African police called crackdown against what it called illegal trade.
Ethiopians in Johannesburg accused police of indiscriminately arresting Ethiopians even if they have legal documents to live and work in the country.
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