ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Monday said 46 Ethiopians that had been imprisoned in Zambia for illegal entry will arrive in Ethiopia on Tuesday morning.
Speaking exclusively to Xinhua, Meles Alem, Spokesperson of Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the 46 Ethiopians were en-route to South Africa under the arrangement of traffickers before they were detained.
The 46 will be repatriated with the help of Ethiopian embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe which also covers Zambia where Ethiopia doesn't have an embassy.
"Ethiopia has formed a national steering committee to combat human trafficking chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen," Alem said, adding the committee comprises of religious figures, NGOs and regional governments to educate the community on the dangers of human trafficking.
He said Ethiopian migrants pay up to 5,000 US dollars to human traffickers to reach South Africa.
Despite a growing economy and public awareness campaigns on the dangers of human trafficking by the Ethiopian government, it is estimated that thousands of Ethiopians are trafficked to South Africa annually where they are mainly engaged in the informal economy.