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Eritrea/Ethiopia: Civilians repatriated

28-12-2002 News Release 02/87

Asmara/Geneva (ICRC) – On Saturday, 28 December, 154 Eritrean civilians were repatriated from Ethiopia under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

They crossed the border at Mereb bridge, between the towns of Rama, Ethiopia and Adi Quala, Eritrea. Five of the 154 were children, who were reunited with their families in Eritrea. In the course of same operation, an Ethiopian child was repatriated from Eritrea to be reunited with his family.

The Eritreans were accompanied on the first leg of their journey by ICRC delegates based in Ethiopia. At Mereb bridge the group was met by Eritrea-based delegates before being placed in the care of the Eritrean authorities. The Eritrea-based delegates had accompanied the Ethiopian child to the same border checkpoint, handing him over to the Ethiopian authorities. Volunteers from the Eritrean and Ethiopian Red Cross Societies also took part in the operation, handing out food and water on their respective sides of the border.

The ICRC will continue to assist people affected by the recent armed conflict between the two countries and will strive to ensure compliance with the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

 For further information please contact  

 Marçal Izard, Communication delegate, ICRC Asmara  

 Tel. ++29 11 181 130 or ++29 11 181 164