'They're becoming a burden' - Ethiopia bans street begging by Syrians
ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia is banning street begging by Syrian nationals who have startled people by showing up in growing numbers in recent months.
The deputy head of Ethiopia's immigration office tells The Associated Press that "we have tolerated them for some time but we have now decided to ban the illegal practice...They are becoming a burden."
Yemane Gebremeskel says some 560 Syrians entered between August and December and the majority leave when tourist visas expire. More than 100 have applied for refugee status.
Many in Addis Ababa displayed signs written in the local Amharic language appealing for help.
One Syrian told the AP his family fled the war, and life in other countries became too expensive.
Khalid Youssef says Ethiopians "are even more generous and they help us a lot."