Ethiopians Protest Killings In Saudi Arabia
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
November 18, 2013 4:50 PM
The Ethiopian community in Sioux Falls is outraged with the way their people are being treated in Saudi Arabia.
There are reports that Ethiopian immigrant workers in Saudi Arabia are being beaten and killed in the Middle Eastern country.
“They slaughter people like goats on the street and we are here to protest that. That's not correct in 21th century. This should not happen,” said Ojulu Oballa.
“No justice. No peace” “Stop the violence.” A message on signs carried by dozens of people in Sioux Falls as they march towards Senator John Thune's office.
“They have been killing our people who are working there,” said Oballa.
The violence is happening against Ethiopians working in Saudi Arabia.
“They are killing our nation’s people who are working there who are immigrants,” said Oballa.
“If you kill one person, it's like killing the whole world,” said Fatima Husien, in Arabic.
Some workers from Ethiopia have immigrated illegally to Saudi Arabia looking for better paying jobs. Unemployment in Ethiopia is around 20%. And activists in Sioux Falls say if Saudi Arabians want to change their immigration policy there are more peaceful ways to do it.
“It's not the correct way with what is supposed to be done. So our message here is to come to save our people who are working in Saudi Arabia,” said Oballa.
The message is directed towards South Dakota's two senators and lone representative.
There are only 3 confirmed Ethiopian deaths in Saudi Arabia. But, some feel there have been many more that haven't been reported.
The Saudi government says they are returning any illegal immigrants back to Ethiopia.