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Reference : V-F-CR-F-00753
Date : 12/2002
Country/Region : ERITREA; ETHIOPIA
Title : Eritrean prisoners of war return home with the ICRC help
Duration : 00:06:06
Cameraman : KARANJA, Peter
Editor : unknown
Person appearing :
MEDERT LE BORGNE, Friedrun (head of delegation, ICRC)
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Production company : ICRC
ICRC producer :
Description : The last group of over a thousand prisoners of war and civilians detained in Ethiopia have finally been released and allowed to go back to their homes in Eritrea. War between these two countries ended two years ago. Since then the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has negotiated with the authori-ties on both sides to bring about the release of all prisoners of war. The journey home to Eritrea took several days to complete due to the large number of prisoners and the long distances involved. The repatriation represents an important step in putting the peace agreement into practice, following a conflict that lasted nearly three years. The 1,130 ex-prisoners of war and 95 civilian internees were taken by 27 buses as far as the border between the two countries by ICRC staff based in Ethiopia. The border crossing is marked by the bridge over the Mereb river between the towns of Rama in Ethiopia and Adi Quala in Eritrea. Having crossed the bridge on foot, the ex-prisoners were met by an-other team of ICRC staff, and handed over to the Eritrean authorities. Exhausted after the three day road trip, the ex-POWs walked a few hundred metres to climb aboard more buses for the final leg of their journey to freedom. At this first stop on Eritrean soil, some were lucky enough to find friends and family waiting to greet them. For others it will be a few days more before they are reunited with loved ones. In the meantime, at every town the buses drive through, the roads are lined by crowds welcoming the men home. Many of these men have been in internment camps for five years. In August 2002, for their part, Eritrea had already released the last POWs it had detained. All 279 of them were sent home to Ethiopia, also under the auspices of the ICRC. The ICRC will continue to work with both governments on the few individual cases that remain unresolved.

Original language : International soundtrack
French title : Eritrean prisoners of war return home with the ICRC help
Colour/B&W : colour
Original material/format : Betacam SP
Best material/format available : Betacam SP