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Eritrea / Ethiopia: 378 persons repatriated

14-12-2007 News Release 07/52

On 14 December 2007, 368 persons were repatriated from Eritrea to Ethiopia under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

This number includes a former prisoner of war who recently requested to be repatriated. In the same operation, 10 civilians were repatriated from Ethiopia to Eritrea.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC carried out the repatriation based on the consent of each individual, and with the cooperation of the authorities on both sides of the border. ICRC delegates based in Eritrea and an ambulance team from the Red Cross Society of Eritrea accompanied the civilians going to Ethiopia on the first part of their journey from Asmara, Eritrea's capital, to the border. At the crossing point on the Mereb River, located between the towns of Adi Quala in Eritrea and Rama in Ethiopia, the group was met by ICRC delegates based in Ethiopia, before being placed in the care of the Ethiopian authorities.

Likewise, ICRC delegates based in Ethiopia accompanied the civilians going to Eritrea to the border, where they were met by ICRC delegates based in Eritrea, before being placed in the care of the Eritrean authorities.

The ICRC has helped repatriate people affected by the 1998-2000 armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea since June 2000 and strives to ensure compliance with the rules and principles of international humanitarian law; in particular, the Geneva Conventions.

For further information, please contact:
  Catherine Deman, ICRC Asmara, tel.: ++2911 181 164
  Patrick Mégevand, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel.: ++ 251 91 148 0921