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Eritrea/Ethiopia: Five Eritreans join their families in Asmara

01-05-2003 News Release 03/48

Five Eritreans were repatriated from Ethiopia today under ICRC auspices. Given the fragile state of health of some of them, ICRC medical staff accompanied them on the flight from Addis Ababa to Asmara via Nairobi.

The group comprised a seven-year-old boy, an 80-year-old man and three people in need of medical care. When the aircraft landed, the passengers were tired but overjoyed to be reunited with their relatives, who were waiting for them. The three sick persons were brought to their homes in an Eritrean Red Cross ambulance.

Since 1998 nearly 250 Eritreans and Ethiopians have been reunited with their relatives in their countries of origin under the ICRC's family reunification programme, which is designed for children and elderly and sick persons. While most of them are flown home, others have travelled overland via the Mereb bridge, a crossing point between the towns of Adi Quala in Eritrea and Rama in Ethiopia.

 Further information: Marçal Izard, ICRC Asmara, tel.: ++ 29 11 18 11 64