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Eritrea/Ethiopia: 415 persons repatriated

12-06-2008 News Release 08/101

Asmara/ Addis Ababa (ICRC) - On 11 June, 400 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, 15 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:
  Mulan Giovannini, ICRC Asmara, tel:+291 118 11 64
  Patrick Mégevand, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel: +251 91 148 09 21