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Eritrea/Ethiopia: 200 Ethiopian civilians repatriated

03-12-2004 News Release 04/143

On 26 November, 200 Ethiopian civilians were repatriated from Eritrea to Ethiopia under the auspices of the ICRC. The group crossed the border at the Mereb river bridge, between the towns of Adi Quala in Eritrea and Rama in Ethiopia. Among those repatriated were eight children and three sick persons returning to their families in Ethiopia.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC carried out this operation with the cooperation of the authorities. ICRC delegates based in Eritrea and an ambulance team from the Red Cross Society of Eritrea accompanied the Ethiopian civilians on the first leg of their journey, from the Eritrean capital Asmara to the border, providing them with food and water and helping to transport their luggage. At the Mereb river crossing point, the group was met by ICRC delegates based in Ethiopia before being placed in the care of the Ethiopian authorities.

The ICRC has been helping people affected by the recent armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea to return to their respective countries since June 2000. At the same time it works to ensure compliance with the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions.

 For further information please contact:  

 Marcus Dolder, ICRC Asmara, tel. ++2111 181 164  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 22 71