The Gloomy Affairs of Ethiopian Migrants and the Social Media Pseudo Sympathizers

Scholars have said a lot about migration. Especially the now growing migration from developing to developed countries is always the source of heightened debate, some arguing for while others against. But today the point I would like to raise is not about the pros and cons of migration rather it is about the real suffering that Ethiopian migrants are facing in the Arab world and the reactions that followed.

It’s not new and never the first for Ethiopian to suffer at the receiving country, but this month of November seems to be painted a bleak picture for Ethiopian migrants who are suffering from the evil behavior of their host country, though this is not where their torment begins. Their misery starts here at home, where they find it difficult to earn their living, let alone to support their ailing parents who are always dependent on the success of their children, where their childhood dream always keeps on detaching itself from them, and above all, where the life at home seems unchallengeable-it starts then. But this is not the challenge which is endemic to Ethiopia; it is the fate of every developing country living in this world of inequality accompanied by a shrinking of the world into the village making migration an easy solution to the difficulties at home. So it won’t be unfair to conjure up the domestic nature of the problem as a ‘must pass phase’ for any developing country of which addressing the economic, social and political situation at home is the only remedy. Therefore, neither their suffering at home nor their diamond like shining expectation of the outside world seems staggering.

Whatever the case and whatever the cause, too many Ethiopians are costing their dear life just for the sake of adding something valuable to it. The extent of their suffering rises overwhelmingly when their compass unfortunately points to the very inhumane countries, to the world where the imported human value is shockingly cheap- it is Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government for the reason still secret to me announced the illegal migrants in their country to be legal residents or to leave their country with a deadline attached to it. As the owner of the large number of migrants it is not ironic that the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom made an applausive diplomatic move to extend the grace period and within that extended period large numbers of lucky Ethiopians get the chance to be legal residents while the wretched ones remain illegal. Since nothing is eternal in the world we are living in, the extended amnesty period came to an end in the unfortunate month of November. Yes the government of Saudi didn’t repeat its failure of implementing human right charters when it comes to torturing the so called illegal migrants under the cover of the end of the grace period. It never hesitates to chase, torture, detain and kill them. They start to hunt those whom they thought are illegally in to their country among those are Ethiopians in a large number. I was so surprised to hear the Saudis took a hard measure against Ethiopians bypassing the word of their prophet and forgetting Ethiopia’s priceless deeds in the time of their difficulties.

This November proved us their cruelty when the sufferings of Ethiopian become a public secret. Frankly speaking, it is not the first for Ethiopian migrants to be ill with the mistreatments of their host country, but to my knowledge it is the first of its type. No time in history did they die in the streets beheaded, I recall no circumstances when Ethiopians are chased in masse officially-the first of its type!

Yes the Saudi’s might claim the right to make their country free of illegal migrants for whatever reason they have at hand, but the way they carried it out was by no means acceptable for anyone who is able of thinking humanly. Had we living in a fair world, the Saudi’s would have been condemned internationally.

The social media reactions

The oneness of Ethiopians

The social media served Ethiopians to condemn the inhuman action of the irresponsible government throughout those days of misery. From the high profile government officials to ordinary citizens have used this tech to convey their message. Of course, it has proved me and everyone one big fact which can be a source of pride for every Ethiopian. This source of pride is the oneness of Ethiopians, their ‘you are not alone voice’, their determination to stop such an evil act against their fellow brothers and sisters and overall their pressure against the Saudi government through the hash tag someone tell Saudi Arabia (#someonetellsaudiarabia) which is able to capture the attention of the targeted group (BUT SADLY FAILED TO MAKE A HEADLINE) is rather exceptional. Their oneness was seen not only in social Medias they has been displaying a true sympathy for their fellow Ethiopians through demonstration both at home and abroad, but the social media anger was seen boldly.  All of that happened not in a labeled field there was and still is some off topic agendas inside.

‘The twisted path’

Of course the facebook/twitter anti Saudi rhetoric was not trivial at all it has done a lot in pressurizing both the international community (at least they are much aware of what is going on) and the Ethiopian government. But behind this mob sympathy there exists something visible enough for those who want to see. It took no time for the self proclaimed change seekers of the country to make their own political gain out of the sufferings of their fellow. It is a move which is for sure not driven by unawareness, but intentional twist. At this time they know that the incumbent government is doing what it can and what it has to do and never do what they expect to be done (though they can rightly claim its delay), they are expecting the government to violate international norms by retaliating the wrong doers. They used this humble chance to pretend as if they care for the citizens while the government does not. They seek to win the hearts and minds of the citizen (the possible voter) by finger pointing. And for that matter they have even gone to the extent of blaming the incumbent of working with the Saudi government to do all the evil. And the irony is that those claimers are not ordinary citizens but our to be incumbents, the opposition parties who thought being an opposition as opposing everything done by their contenders and some diasporas who thought themselves as a key for their countries development, as for them in their absence this country will remain locked in misery so in their absence they don’t congratulate the country’s graduation from the yoke of poverty. They are urging the incumbent to expel Saudi diplomats and investors from their country (something like retaliation) when they are well aware of the devastating consequences that will follow, they are never forgetful of Gandhi’s an eye for an eye……they are always ready to make a political gain out of any misery so it’s not ironic that they are calling for such things to persist.



6 thoughts on “The Gloomy Affairs of Ethiopian Migrants and the Social Media Pseudo Sympathizers

  1. i am real wondering about what is happening to our brothers and sisters @ saudi …also the reaction of diaspora community ….who pretend as a source of change …democracy to Ethiopia….any ways this is great job fitse!!!!!!!!


  2. It is a very interesting article presented in a clear, organized and meaningful way. And I believe the article clearly summarized the sensitive, unique, and broad issue happing now from a neutral angle mentioning the interests and questions of all the actors and concerned bodies.
    BUT, to say my
    1. Yes migration is as old as human being and common to all levels of economically developed nations, and sever for developing countries. But this can not legitimize or can not be a reason for our high number of migrants and extreme suffrage. The high number of illegals alone can show how much things need to be done at home in emigration process starting from decreasing the migrants to creating a safe line of migration process.
    2. You expressed yourself “ surprised to hear the Saudis took a hard measure against Ethiopians by passing the word of their prophet and forgetting Ethiopia’s priceless deeds in the time of their difficulties”. And I said this, Our deeds in part are immense and corner stone of the black history and Islam of course. Due to the unfortunate times we passed in the near past,the way others perceive us is completely negative, possible to say, as the last poor country on earth. So, we have to know this perception and accept as a perception of many without hesitation. Knowing this harms nothing rather motivates us to come to show who we were and who we are. Not only in Saudi Arabia, where there extremisms and illiteracy always said, many African where who were waving our flag during his liberation fight tell you that Ethiopia is the poorest, the undermined country. So I expect nothing from Saudi pointing to our history as the first Hijira.
    3. It is best if you add things as a weakness of Government and MoFA besides touching simply as the question raised by outsiders. We should ask ourselves- is it the maximum thing we can do if we were in a place of our ambassadors who are particularly to this issue. For example,I did not accept the silence of the Saudi Arabia government toward those who died and harmed besides their lost of property. The burdens including the financial cost our government is taking should be shared by the Saudis because they are responsible for such illegals to be there mainly allowing their entrance


    1. thanks for taking your time and telling me what you think. i really appreciate that. I admit your scholarly comments, but as i have tried to describe addressing the economic, social and political situation at home is the only remedy for the migration.


      1. Fitse! I told u as I saw z article but didn’t read it two days ago due to inconvenience of time as long as I’m too busy in spokesperson office. Now I can say what I have about the above expressive, well articulated, logical & analytical article you produced. Having said this, coming to my constructive comment (not destructive) I would like to focus on Ethiopians (both living @ home & abroad) responses to the cruel act of Saudi government. The way most of social media followers responded is really shows their Ethiopian feeling & anger to the crackdown. Among others the Facebook posts, tweets & articles on various blogs including yours is an exemplary for our United hand against our enemies (if the Saudi case is so) and it helped even to make the issue world wide which in turn the Global community says “NO YOUR ACT IS EVIL!” message for Saudi Arabia. This is clearly seen when white people in Europe & USA stand together with Ethiopians on demonstration condemning the Saudi government. What I read this week is even as one Nigerian Journalist launched a campaign at global level to bring the case to UN.
        Apart from this, some opposition parties @ home & extremist Diaspora’s abroad (including Ginbot 7 the one who had formed Transitional government based in USA to rule the Horn of Africa nation only ideally crossing the Atlantic ocean by distance governing system like that of distance education, during the let PM Meles passed away) have started to play political game to use this time as propaganda holly day. However at least the so called Blue Party leaders & members should be patient until the end of returning the victims to minimize Saudis retaliation. Especially Blue party demonstration in front of Saudi Embassy here in Addis (the diplomatic hub city) would have unprecedented negative consequence for our nationals who urgently needs the collaboration of Saudi with our Embassy in Riyadh for repatriation. So I completely agree with your saying of “for that matter they have even gone to the extent of blaming the incumbent of working with the Saudi government to do all the evil.”
        To conclude my comment not to make it wider than the article itself, I would like to say some words politicians @ every corner needs to think one step ahead of the people they assume to lead. Unfortunately Ethiopia is not lucky to own such politicians. MAY OUR MOTHERLAND OWN POLITICIANS LIKE AS J.F.Kennedy said who THINK NOT WHAT THEIR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR THEM RATHER WHAT THEY CAN MAKE FOR THEIR COUNTRY !!!


  3. An exceedingly precise and attention-grabbing article!!! I appreciate your effort for you evidently tried to capture the very quintessence of the installment. Save for, if you don’t mind and afford the time to do so, I would be more than happy seeing you come up with a commentary that addresses the following concerns:
    1. What do you think are the possible causes for the crackdown?
    2. Would there be any actor behind the picture?
    3. Would the episode amount to any fissure in the future Ethio-Saudi relations?
    4. With regard to the incident, how do you see the stillness of the so called ‘‘human rights groups’’, and the political sin in the election of Saudi for a ‘‘seat to the Human Rights Council’’?


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