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Eritrea / Ethiopia: Civilians repatriated

13-06-2005 News Release 05/50

A total of 163 Eritrean and five Ethiopian civilians were repatriated to their respective countries under ICRC auspices on 10 June

Among the repatriated were unaccompanied minors, elderly or sick persons and people particularly vulnerable for other reasons.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC carried out this operation in accordance with its standard procedures. ICRC delegates based in Ethiopia and Eritrea accompanied the two groups of civilians to a crossing point on the Mereb river between the towns of Rama, on the Ethiopian side, and Adi Quala, in Eritrea, where they placed them in the care of their own country’s authorities.

Volunteers from the Ethiopian Red Cross Society took part in the operation, in particular by providing drinking water and food and by carrying the luggage of the returnees. The Red Cross Society of Eritrea provided ambulance service within Eritrea to and from the border for those requiring it.

The ICRC will continue to assist people affected by the 1998-2000 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:  

 Olivier Jenard, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. +2511 518 366  

 Marco Yuri Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 2271