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Eritrea/Ethiopia: 1,766 people repatriated in 2008

08-01-2009 News Release 09/06

Addis Ababa/ Asmara (ICRC) – In 2008, 1,714 persons were repatriated from Eritrea to Ethiopia, including 56 minors, in a number of repatriation operations under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

In the same operations, 52 civilians, including 22 minors, were repatriated from Ethiopia to Eritrea.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC carried out these repatriations based on the consent of each individual and with the cooperation of the authorities. ICRC delegates based in Eritrea – in cooperation with the Eritrean Red Cross - 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 at 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 and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, 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 assisted people affected by the 1998-2000 armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea regarding their repatriation since June 2000 and strives to ensure compliance with the rules and principles of International Humanitarian Law; in particular, the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

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