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Eritrea/Ethiopia: civilians repatriated

25-10-2006 News Release

The ICRC has facilitated the repatriation of 433 civilians between Ethiopia and Eritrea, including 22 unaccompanied minors.

 The following was issued as a press release by the ICRC delegation in Asmara on October 20 2006.  


On October 20, 420 civilians were repatriated from Eritrea to Ethiopia under the auspices of the ICRC. Amongst those repatriated were 17 unaccompanied minors, 1 elderly person and 1 medical case, who were able to rejoin their families in Ethiopia. In the same operation, 13 civilians were repatriated from Ethiopia to Eritrea. Among them were 5 unaccompanied minors, 4 elderly persons and 1 medical case.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC carried out this repatriation 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 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 facilitated such repatriations since June 2000 and strives to ensure compliance with the rules and principl es of international humanitarian law; in particular, the Geneva Conventions.

 For further information, please contact:  

Catherine Deman, ICRC Asmara, + +2911 181 164