Saudi police in Riyadh clash with migrant workers(BBC)

November 11th, 2013 Print Print Email Email

At least two people have been killed and scores wounded as Saudi police clashed with protesting foreign workers in a district of the capital, Riyadh.

A police statement said hundreds of people were arrested in the Manfuhah neighbourhood.

Later on Sunday, thousands of mostly African workers gathered in the capital to prepare for repatriation.

Last week police rounded up thousands of migrant workers after an amnesty linked to new employment rules expired.

Yemenis return
One of the two people killed was a Saudi while the other was unidentified, police said. About 70 others were injured and there were some 560 arrests, officials added.

However, Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Tedros Adhanom said he had information that three Ethiopian citizens had been killed, one last Tuesday and two in the latest clashes.

He said Addis Ababa had formally complained to Riyadh.

“This is unacceptable. We call on the Saudi government to investigate this issue seriously. We are also happy to take our citizens, who should be treated with dignity while they are there,” he said.

Police said they intervened on Saturday after foreign workers in the Manfuhah district rioted, attacking Saudi and other foreign residents with rocks and knives.

Vigilante Saudi residents in Manfuhah reportedly joined the fighting and even detained some Ethiopians.

Manfuhah is home to many migrants, mostly from east Africa.

On Sunday, witnesses said police surrounded the district while units from the National Guard and special forces were sent in.

Hundreds of African migrants reportedly surrendered to police.

A long line of buses took the migrants to temporary housing along the airport road in Riyadh.

Last Monday, the authorities began rounding up thousands of illegal foreign workers following the expiry of a seven-month amnesty for them to formalise their status.

Nearly a million Bangladeshis, Indians, Filipinos, Nepalis, Pakistanis and Yemenis are estimated to have left the country in the past three months.

More than 30,000 Yemenis have reportedly crossed to their home country in the past 10 days alone.

Four million other migrants obtained work permits before last Sunday’s deadline.

Saudi Arabia has the Arab world’s largest economy, but authorities are trying to reduce the 12% unemployment rate among native Saudis.

An estimated nine million migrant workers are in Saudi Arabia – more than half the workforce – filling manual, clerical, and service jobs.

  1. Dany
    | #1

    Let us go to the streets and demand the expulsion of Saudis from Ethiopia who are now living a luxurious life in our country .
    We should show them that our country will no longer be their paradise .
    What are you guys ,so called ‘opposition parties’ doing now ?
    Let us see also if the Ethiopian government will oppose the gathering as it did for the rally against Graziani.
    I call upon all citizens to do what ever he/she can do to mitigate this atocity.
    God bless Ethiopia

  2. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #2

    First of all we have to be very careful from holding the current regime wholly responsible for the movement of its citizens out of the country by all means of exit. The genie was out of the bottle during the days of Mengistu and it will not slow down even if there is a democratic regime running the country tomorrow. Illegal migration is a global phenomenon as it has never been seen before in the history of modern world. As long as there are societies that remain underdeveloped industrially and their income remains at the level of bare subsistence, migration will continue. Those of you who were here in the Good Ole USA since the early 1970′s you will remember when tens of thousands of South Koreans were coming here by any means they could to escape not solely dictatorship but above all abject poverty. But there number started slowing down dramatically after the mid 1980′s because their country started finding success in transforming itself as an industrialized nation. That transformation in itself brought about the death of a dictatorship and that sniffed out the desire of migrating out of its literate citizens. The same can be said of Taiwan, Singapore, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil and to some extent now to The Philippines. Sooner or later we will say the same about the Chinese. The main reason for the Taiwanese, Brazilians, Argentines, South Koreans and Singaporeans to come here nowadays is to shop for big houses, high rise condominiums and struggling factories, which is not a bad thing. So, the exodus will continue until that region is turned upside down and transformed into a mainly industrial society.

    In the meantime, we should ask the question why the Saudis and their other Emirate kin and kits are all of a sudden persecuting hard working foreigners like our countrymen. These foreign workers are crime-free group of people who do all of the menial work for the lowest wage possible. Such barbaric treatment of Africans by the Arabs is not new. They have been doing this for centuries. They were the first ones since the Middle Age to commence the slave trades. Their trade is well documented but there is very little known except what is left in the annals of their own folklore about what they did with the slaves they snatched from Africa numbering in millions. Where are the descendants those slaves who were taken to the Arabian Peninsula? What did they do with them once they were tired of seeing them in their surroundings? Compare that to the Americas where millions were bought as slaves. What do witness now? Jamaica, Haiti, Mississippi, New Orleans, many Caribbean Islands, Central and South American cities have majority black population. What did the Arabs do with my Oromo people and other brotherly Ethiopian countrymen who they snatched are slaves since the 3rd century? We know very well what they have done with the teenagers and adult males. Castration and banishment was a common practice. Family and clan verdicts were the venues to hand out such steps. If you hear a story these days where a Saudi, Kuwaiti or an Abu Dhabi housewife killed an Ethiopian maid on a whim, don’t be puzzled by it. It is right there in their folklore. To them servants are always servants – sub-humans who can be disposed of on whim. There is a lot to be investigated about the slave trade to the Arabian Peninsula and the fate of the slave taken there. There is lot of investigative done to the slave trade to the Americas but there is not much research done to the slave trade which had been going on in full swing for more than a thousand years on the other side of the African continent. I call upon all capable experts of the East African origin to start conducting extensive research about the fate of Africans who were forcibly taken to the Arabian Peninsula as slaves for more than a millennium. That includes the methods of punishment used on the slaves for the slightest ‘crime’. What had they done with those slaves? Where are the descendants of those millions of slaves in the modern day Arabian Peninsula? I want some one to show me a locality where there is a majority of such African descendants with more than a third generation. I sense a crime against on humanity of historical proportion that may put Stalin, Mao, Mussolini and Hitler to shame.

  3. Anonymous
    | #3

    This is more than meets the eye. It seems, a prominent powerful Muslim man with the blessings of TPLF regime are working along with Saudi Arabia to reduce the number of Ethiopian Christians in Ethiopia. This is Genocide at its best — first Permanent birth-control and now rape and murder. I hope Christians around the world come together and stop Saudi Arabia’s act of evil.

  4. Lemlem Tsegaw
    | #4

    For How Long…,To Whom Can We Appeal?

    who are these
    what is
    their charge
    has been
    their faith
    no government
    to represent
    to appeal
    their case
    just because
    they are Ethiopians
    o God
    for how long
    are we to suffer
    for bread and butter
    who is there
    that plead
    their case
    no government
    to defend
    their human right
    for how long
    are Ethiopians
    to be raped
    no place
    to call home
    no wealth
    to pay off their debt
    o God
    to whom
    can we appeal
    © Lemlem Tsegaw, to all Ethiopians who
    are suffering in Saudi Arabia

  5. Daniel
    | #5

    Relations with Saudi Arabia need to be reevaluated by all nations.This “Islamic” nation is responsible for raising and educating 19 young men who on a suicide mission murdered more Americans on American soil than the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor.

    The international protocol should have been to declare war and obliderate this regime and ideology that dared to attack America with impunity..Instead, America attacked the wrong nation of Iraq. Has the USA government been compromised ?
    Is the Ethiopian government compromised too?
    Is the United Nations compromised too?

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