Ethiopia has given permanent identity cards for 1,247 foreign nationals who consider themselves as Ethiopians, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today. Spokesperson for the Ministry, Meles Alem said that the foreigners who received the ID Cards have a strong sense of nationalism, devotion and love for Ethiopia.


The Horn African nation has provided ID Cards for 688 Bete-Israel, a community of Ethiopian Jews living in northern and northwestern part of the country.


Some 99 Rastafarians from the Shashemene community are also among beneficiaries. Rastafarians, who believe that Emperor Haileselassie I was the Messiah, fulfilling the Biblical prophecy that kings would come out of Africa. Their belief that Ethiopia is the Promised Land, heaven on earth, has continued to draw Rastafarians from all around the world to settle in Shashemene. Despite their love for the country, they never received a status of citizenship. This is the first time that members of this community have received recognition and their own ID Card.


An additional 460 foreign nationals, who have been engaged in huge investments in Ethiopia, are among ID card recipients; they come from Greece, Italy and, Armenia.

Meles affirmed that the country would further strengthen efforts to provide permanent ID cards for those foreigners who love Ethiopia and regard themselves as Ethiopian citizens.


Ethiopia has also provided passports for more than 40,000 undocumented Ethiopians who live in exile. These undocumented Ethiopians live in South Africa, Sudan and the Middle East. 1,000 Ethiopian-born individuals who have foreign nationality have also been given ID cards that show their place of birth. They are among many Ethiopian-born individuals believed to have changed their nationality in order to get asylum more easily.


Source: ENA

Ethiopian Express News