Ethiopians are facing a dirty campaign to tarnish their image in Saudi Arabia, according to Ethiopian Consul General Zenb Kebd Khorsh.
“This campaign is being promoted all over the electronic media in order to prevent the recruitment of Ethiopian labor,” the consul was quoted as saying by a local newspaper. Khorsh added that videos on YouTube showing the arrest of a number of Ethiopian laborers had a negative effect on visa processing as many have refrained from coming to work in the Kingdom. “They are afraid that the situation will get worse”, the consul general argued, stressing that efforts are being made to resolve the issue.
“No member of the Ethiopian community in Saudi Arabia is trafficking arms or smuggling as is rumored,” he said.
Claiming that most of those in the videos and on What’s Up are not Ethiopian, he said: “The consulate is working side-by-side with competent agencies in the Kingdom to clarify the reality of the situation.”
Khorsh pointed to the solid relationship between Ethiopia and the Kingdom, as well as the common interests of the two countries. “Such distorting campaigns aim to weaken this close relationship between our two countries”, he added. “We are certain that nationals of Saudi Arabia are generous people and supporters for the rule of law.”
The security forces, not the consulate, are responsible for keeping an eye on the Ethiopians who violate immigration and residency laws, Khorsh said. “The statement by the Foreign Ministry in this regard had a great impact on the members of our community,” he said, thanking the ministry for this diplomatic procedure. He indicated that tourism levels between the two countries is increasing despite the recent events, pointing at the same time to the beautiful landscape of his country, and the other elements of investment that have attracted Saudi businessmen to be the lead investors in Ethiopia. “Trade has been a prominent feature of Saudi –Ethiopian relations since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),” he said.
The consul demanded that all media outlets, social and otherwise, be accurate and report the truth. “Otherwise, innocent people will be victims, people whose main concern is to make an honest, decent living”, he continued. He concluded his statement by saying that Ethiopian authorities are always ready to cooperate with competent agencies in the Kingdom in the best interests of the two countries, in particular with regard to reducing the number of Ethiopians in the country illegally, and the implementation of all security regulations and arrangements. “We regularly send awareness messages to every Ethiopian entering Saudi territory,” he said.
From Arab News