ADDIS ABABA,(Xinhua) --
The Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)
announced on Sunday it is lobbying for the release of 18
nationals detained in Qatar.
In a press
statement, MoFA said the Ethiopian Embassy in Qatari is holding
discussions with Qatari authorities for the release of 18
nationals currently serving prison time.
The MoFA statement
did not identify the crimes the Ethiopians are serving prison
In recent years Gulf
nations including Qatar have arrested and convicted Ethiopians
for various crimes including illegal entry, sale of illicit
alcohol and sale of narcotic substances.
It is estimated that
every year thousands of Ethiopians looking for better economic
opportunities abroad are trafficked through Somalia, Djibouti
and the Red Sea to reach the Arabian Peninsula.
MoFA added Qatari
authorities had already freed eight Ethiopian detainees as a
good will gesture during the gulf country’s national day
celebrations on Tuesday.