Ethiopia: Nine captive civilians released under ICRC auspices

Geneva (ICRC) - Nine civilians, including seven Chinese nationals working for an oil company in Ethiopia's Somali Regional State, were released at 14.30 p.m. local time today under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The nine were handed over to ICRC staff in south-eastern Ethiopia by the Ogaden National Liberation Front, which had captured them on Tuesday, 24 April.

On the basis of its right of humanitarian initiative, the ICRC facilitated the release and safe return of these persons to Degabur where they were received by representatives of the Ethiopian authorities and where they will spend the night. They will proceed tomorrow with representatives of the Ethiopian and Chinese authorities to Addis Ababa.

The ICRC has been present in Ethiopia since 1977, where it has been delivering aid and carrying out other humanitarian work in accordance with its mandate under international humanitarian law.

For further information, please contact:

Patrick Mégevand, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. +251 91 148 09 21
Carla Haddad, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 2405 or +41 79 217 3226