Eritrea / Ethiopia: Nine civilians reunited with their families
06-10-2003 News Release 03/123
In two separate operations carried out on 2 and 3 October, eight Eritrean civilians from Ethiopia and one 16-year-old Ethiopian civilian from Eritrea joined their respective families in Asmara and Addis Ababa.
ICRC personnel accompanied them on their flights, which transited through Nairobi. Among the Eritreans returning home were two brothers aged three and four years and a person in need of medical care, who was assisted by an ICRC nurse.
Since 1998, around 250 Eritreans and Ethiopians have been reunited with their families in their home countries through the ICRC's family reunification programme, which focuses on children, the elderly and the sick. While most of them are repatriated by air, others have travelled overland via the Mereb bridge, a crossing point between the towns of Adi Quala in Eritrea and Rama in Ethiopia.
The ICRC will continue to assist people affected by the recent armed conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia and will strive to ensure compliance with the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
Further information: Gianni Volpin, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. ++2511 518 366