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Ethiopia/Eritrea: 81 Eritrean civilians return home

19-03-2004 News Release 04/39

On 19 March, 81 Eritrean civilians were repatriated from Ethiopia under ICRC auspices. The group included a medical case and 12 unaccompanied children who were later reunited with their families.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC conducted the operation in accordance with its standard procedures. ICRC delegates based in Ethiopia accompanied the civilians to a crossing point on the Mereb river between the towns of Rama, in Ethiopia, and Adi Quala, in Eritrea. The group was met by ICRC staff based in Eritrea, who placed them 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 food and 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:  

 Layla Berlemont, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. ++2511 518366