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Facility in Kuwait shut from Sept 1
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 18: After the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the start of implementing its austerity plan, which included closing down 31 embassies and consulates around the world including Kuwait as of September 1, about 30,000 to 35,000 Ethiopians residing in Kuwait – 90 percent of whom work as domestic workers – are left without an embassy to represent them in the country, reports Al-Rai daily. A large number of the Ethiopian community had applied for the renewal of their passports at the consular section of their country’s embassy before the sudden closure. They were asked to visit the embassy’s page on Facebook for any information about where to receive their passports when they arrive in Kuwait. However, the embassy’s page published nothing but news about the closure of the embassy in Kuwait from the beginning of September.
According to informed sources, due to the delay in the arrival of passports, many members of the Ethiopian community in Kuwait had to pay fines worth KD 2 per day due to the expiry of their passports and their inability to renew their residence permits. Some sponsors refuse to pay these fines for their employees, as they are not the reason for the delay. Therefore the worker is forced to bear the cost of the residency violation, which may lead to them absconding from work. A Kuwaiti citizen revealed that he had submitted a request for the renewal of the passports of his two domestic workers three months before the expiry of their residency.
However, he does not know yet what will happen to these passports after the closure of the embassy in Kuwait. He asked, “Who will pay the residency fine?” The Ethiopian Ambassador to Kuwait Hassan Tajo said they are still waiting for instructions from his country’s foreign ministry. He indicated that the information available to him is that all passports for which renewal applications were submitted before the closure of the embassy in Kuwait will be sent to the embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will soon announce the mechanism of the delivery of the new passports to the owners.