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Eritrea/Ethiopia: 885 civilians repatriated

26-10-2007 News Release 07/40

On 26 October 2007, 835 civilians were repatriated from Eritrea to Ethiopia under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In the same operation, 50 civilians were repatriated from Ethiopia to Eritrea.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC carried out this repatriation based on the consent of each individual and with the cooperation of the authorities. ICRC delegates based in Eritrea and an ambulance team of 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, 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  

 Catherine Deman, ICRC Asmara, tel. + 2911 1812 164  

 Patrick Mégevand, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. + 251 11 551 83 66