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Eritrea / Ethiopia: 77 Eritrean civilians repatriated

10-11-2003 News Release 03/142

Last Friday, 77 Eritrean civilians returned from Ethiopia to Eritrea under the auspices of the ICRC. The group crossed the border on a bridge over the Mereb River, between the towns of Rama in Ethiopia and Adi Quala on the Eritrean side. Those repatriated included four minors, who are now back with their families.

ICRC delegates based in Ethiopia accompanied the Eritrean civilians on the first leg of their journey. Eritrea-based ICRC staff met them at the crossing point and they were placed in the care of the Eritrean authorities. Volunteers from the Ethiopian Red Cross Society and the Red Cross Society of Eritrea also took part in the operation, helping to carry luggage and handing out water.

The ICRC will continue to assist people affected by the recent armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea and will strive to ensure compliance with the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

 For further information please contact:  

 Gianni Volpin, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. ++2511 518 366  

 Marçal Izard, ICRC Asmara, tel. ++2911 181 164