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Reference : V-F-CR-F-00760-A
Date : 01/2003
Country/Region : ETHIOPIA; ERITREA
Title : Eritrea and Ethiopia 2002 : prisoners of war return home
Duration : 00:08:10
Person appearing :
APRAXINE, Pierre (délégué protection, CICR)
MEDERT LE BORGNE, Friedrun (chef de délégation Asmara, CICR)
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Production company : ICRC
ICRC producer :
MAIRE, Philippe
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 ICRC has negotiated with the authorities 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 humber 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 another 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 : English
Other language : International soundtrack
English title : Eritrea and Ethiopia 2002 : prisoners of war return home
Colour/B&W : colour
Original material/format : Betacam SP
Best material/format available : Betacam SP

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