Addis Ababa December 13/2018 Ethiopia has given permanent identity cards for 1,247 foreign nationals who consider themselves as Ethiopians, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today.
Briefing to journalists today, Spokesperson of the Ministry, Meles Alem said the foreigners got the ID Cards as they have high 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, a community, who live in Shashemen, 250km from Addis Ababa, are also among the beneficiaries.
Rastafarians, who believe that Haileselassie I, Ethiopia’s last emperor, was the Messiah, fulfilling the Biblical prophecy that kings would come out of Africa.
Their belief that Ethiopia is the Promised Land, a heaven on earth, has drawn Rastafarians from around the world to settle in Shashemene.
Despite their love to the country, they haven’t got a status of citizenship. This is the first time that members of this community have got recognition and own ID Card.
Additional 460 foreign nationals, who have been engaging in huge investments in Ethiopia, are among the receivers of the ID card. They are from Greece, Italy and, Armenia.
Meles affirmed that the country will strengthen efforts to provide permanent ID card for foreigners who love Ethiopia and believing themselves as Ethiopian citizen.
The Horn African nation has also provided passports for more than 40,000 undocumented Ethiopians who live in exile.
The undocumented Ethiopians are living in South Africa, Sudan and countries in the Middle East.
According to him, 1,000 Ethiopian-born individuals who have foreign nationality have given ID cards that show their place of birth.
They are among the many Ethiopian-born individuals believed to changed their nationality in order to get asylum easily.