Ethiopia is lobbying for the release of 224 citizens arrested in Tanzania for allegations of illegal entry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia (MoFA) said on Sunday.
In a press release, the Foreign Ministry said that Ethiopia had requested the release of 224 civilians during discussions between Ethiopian Foreign Minister Vorkana Gabayahu and Tanzanian Foreign Minister and Cooperation in East Africa, Augustine Philip Mahiga, on the sidelines of the 11th African Union Summit.
The summit was held at the EU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on 17 November.
224 Ethiopians were arrested in Tanzania on their way to their final destination in South Africa.
Gebeyehu asked the Tanzanian authorities to pardon the 224 Ethiopians so that they could return home.
Mahiga, for his part, said that the Tanzanian government was closely examining the issue of the detained Ethiopians and would soon resolve the matter in favor of Pan-Africanism.
According to reports, human traffickers use various countries as transit points for the smuggling of Ethiopians to South Africa, where tens of thousands of illegal Ethiopians live.
Despite the growing economy of the dangers of human trafficking by the Ethiopian government, thousands of Ethiopians are trafficked to South Africa each year, where they deal mainly in the informal economy.
According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, human traffickers charge an average of 3,500 to 4,000 dollars to smuggle a single person from Ethiopia to South Africa.