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Drama as 82 Detained Ethiopians Go On Hunger Strike at Police Station, Demand Repatriation

There was drama at a police station when a group of Ethiopians who are in custody pending their repatriation to their country staged a hunger strike.

The 82 aliens had been arrested on August 26 in Athi River and taken to court where a court ordered their repatriation.

Police said the group had been found unlawfully confined in a residential house whose owner is yet to be established.

The suspects escaped from the house after they broke the main door and window panes then ended up loitering the area before they were arrest.

They have been detained at Mavoko SNP police station pending processing for repatriation by the immigration officials.

According to police, on September 11, 2023, the group refused to take their meals saying they wanted to be taken back to their country.

They said it had taken too long to process their movement out of the country.

Police officers at the station said the group threatened not to take meals until they are repatriated.

The aliens continued to stage a hunger strike at the Tuesday amid calls to hasten the process to remove them from the station.

Witnesses said the group looked too weak and vulnerable following the hunger strike and feared for the worst.

This is the latest such group to stage the hunger strike to force their fast repatriation. A similar incident had taken place in March, 2023 at Juja police station.

Dozens of Ethiopians are arrested in the country as they try to use this route to other places like Tanzania, the Middle East and South Africa.

As part of efforts to deal with the menace, an Ethiopian national was sentenced to 31 years in prison for trafficking 12 fellow Ethiopians immigrants in Nairobi.

Yibekal Gatachew alias Adinan Mohamed Galano was sentenced by a Kahawa West Law Court on September 7, 2023 following his arrest on November 3, 2021 in Ngumo estate, Nairobi.

During the arrest, 12 Ethiopian nationals were found emaciated and chained in a room as they waited to be repatriated to a different country while headed for South Africa.

Gatachew was also sentenced for an additional year for acquiring a fake document.

This was after he was found with a fake alien identity card.

The immigrants were later repatriated to Ethiopia.

Police and immigration officials have decried increased cases of Ethiopian aliens nabbed in the country while on transit.

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