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Eritrea/Ethiopia: 134 Ethiopians repatriated from Eritrea

07-02-2002 News Release 02/06

On 1 February 134 people of Ethiopian origin were repatriated from Eritrea to Ethiopia under the auspices of the ICRC.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC conducted the operation in accordance with its standard procedures. The returnees, most of whom came from Asmara and its surrounding areas, were taken to the border under the supervision of ICRC delegates based in Eritrea. Another team of delegates based in Ethiopia met them at the crossing point, a bridge over the Mereb river between the towns of Adi Quala and Rama, and provided them with assistance before placing them in the care of the Ethiopian authorities. Volunteers from the Ethiopian Red Cross Society and the Red Cross Society of Eritrea also took part in the operation on their respective sides of the border, where they supplied the returnees with food and water.

The ICRC will continue to assist people affected by the recent armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea and strive to ensure that the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the 1949 Geneva Conventions, are respected and applied.