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Ethiopia: symposium for former prisoners of war

08-11-2012 News Release 12/219

Addis Ababa (ICRC) – The Association of the 1977 Ethio-Somali War Victims and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are holding a one-day symposium in Addis Ababa today.

The aim is to bring recognition to the Ethiopian prisoners of war and civilian detainees who were held in captivity for 11 years following the 1977-1978 war between Ethiopia and Somalia.

The prisoners of war were repatriated in 1988 under the auspices of the ICRC after a peace treaty was signed between the two countries. Today's event, which will shed light on the current situation of the returnees, is also intended to commemorate the prisoners' life in captivity and the circumstances of repatriation.

"We have a positive expectation that today's event will be a concrete step towards much-deserved dignity and greater support for all those who endured hardship during and after their captivity," said Peter G. Stocker, the head of the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia.

Over 3,500 Ethiopian prisoners of war were repatriated from Somalia. The Association of the 1977 Ethio-Somali War Victims, which was established in 2010, has 1,500 registered members with more than 4,000 dependents.

For further information, please contact:
Zewdu Ayalew , ICRC Addis Ababa, tel: +251 911 614 336 or +251 116 478 300