Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the ICRC carried out this operation in accordance with its standard procedures. ICRC delegates based in Ethiopiaand Eritreaaccompanied the two groups of civilians to a crossing point on the Merebriver between the towns of Rama, on the Ethiopian side, and AdiQuala, in Eritrea, where they placed them in the care of their own country's authorities.
Volunteers from the Ethiopian Red Cross Society took part in the operation, in particular by providing drinking water and food and by carrying the luggage of the returnees. The Red Cross Society of Eritrea provided ambulance service within Eritrea to and from the border for those requiring it.
The ICRC will continue to assist people affected by the 1998-2000 armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea 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:
OlivierJenard, ICRC AddisAbaba, tel. +2511 518 366
Marco YuriJiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 2271
or visit our website: www.icrc.org