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Heading home in Saudi Arabia

Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 01:27

Nov. 10 - Thousands of mostly African workers seek repatriation after two people are killed in overnight rioting after visa crackdown. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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They have packed-up and now they are ready to get out of town. Foreign workers are leaving Saudi Arabia after two people were killed in overnight clashes. The exodus comes after a seven-month amnesty for foreigners without proper visas ended earlier this month. Saudi authorities said earlier this year they would no longer tolerate visa irregularities which have led to a large black market in cheap foreign labor in the world's top oil exporter. Thousands of mostly African workers are now seeking repatriation after the overnight deaths. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED ETHIOPIAN WORKER SAYING: "That's it, they are saying: 'Ethiopians are a problem and have to go', it's enough. I've been in Saudi Arabia for 3 and a half years and now I am going back to my country." Saudi authorities hope to open up private sector jobs to their own citizens by sending illegal workers home. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) FOREIGN WORKERS, ABDUL KAREEM, SAYING: "Saudis don't want foreigners. They want us to leave. They don't want any foreigners" Hundreds of protesters were arrested Saturday night after riots broke out. Authorities say 68 people were wounded, including 20 Saudis. More than nine million of Saudi Arabia's 28 million inhabitants are foreigners.

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Heading home in Saudi Arabia

Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 01:27