Home | News    Monday 29 October 2007

Eritrea expels over 800 Ethiopians home - official


October 28, 2007 (MEKELLE, Ethiopia) — The north Ethiopia Adwa town labour and social affairs bureau said a total of 881 Ethiopians have arrived home late on Saturday expelled from Eritrea..

Office head, Hailemicheal Woldeslase, told Sudan tribune by telephone today that "881 Ethiopians including women and children, who were stack in Eritrea for years have arrived Ethiopia through the help of Red Cross."

According to the official, 42 of the returnees were in ‘Enda oem’detention center facing harsh treatment.

The official said "The disaster prevention and food security bureau has now provided them with basic needs” adding “2 million Ethiopian birr is allocated for their rehabilitation”

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia after a referendum in 1993. Relations between the two countries deteriorated after that, culminating in the 1998-2000 border war. A December 2000 peace agreement ended the war, but failed to address the plight of those who had been deported.

Since both countries practiced expulsion and deportation against the national of the other country. The plight of some 75,000 ethnic Eritreans who were living in Ethiopia when the war broke out in 1998 has yet to be resolved, said a HRW report.

Ethiopians living in Eritrea suffered a similar plight in 1998. A few months after the war broke out, the Eritrean government interned some 7,500 people and deported thousands, the report added.

In both sides, the detainees were subjected to torture, rape or other degrading treatment, HRW said.

Some of the returnees interviewed by telephone said they were kidnapped by Eritrean authorities for several years without apparent reason.

One of the returnees, Tsegay Belay, who was working in a private agricultural farming sector, said “a group of Eritrean soldiers in vehicle approach my farm land and took me away”

“It definitely was kidnapping” he added

Tsegay was then taken to two different detention centers where he was kept behind the bars for 9 months.

“I didn’t get back to my farm land, nor did I know where my properties were ever since I was jailed” Tsegay told Sudan Tribune.

“I still don’t know the reason why I was jailed” but shouting happily through the phone he said “now I am once again born”

Another returnee, an electrician, on condition of anonymity said “I was snatched from the workshop I used to work by some government agents, and arrested for a whole year just Because I was Ethiopian”.

He said I would rather refuse to tell my name because for every word I speak here with you, consequences could be followed to my families, who are left behind.”

The returnees said thousands of other Ethiopians are still stacked in Eritrea on fear and daily threats because they couldn’t manage to pay Labor tax or the 1,000 Ethiopia birr Eritrean government asks before leave home for every Ethiopian.

Many unknown number of Ethiopian are still out there in different secret detention areas on political cases they added.

Following the Ethio-Eritrean war an average of 80 thousand Ethiopians have returned home through Red Cross continued efforts.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 29 October 2007 15:23, by saybela aysiq

    ST’s reliance on a phone call made to an Ethiopian official to claim the "expulsion of over 800 Ethiopians from Eritrea" is laughable, considering the well documented lies repeated by the Ethiopian regime with which the entire population of the horn of Africa witnessed to for several years . If instead the ST made a phone call to ICRC it could have learned that the said individuals have opted to be repatriated under its supervision.

    Immidiately after declaring war on Eritrea the Ethiopian regime started arresting Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean heritage some going back three generations, in an attempt to overburden Eritrean resources and create popular discontent among Eritreans.In the end, over 80,000 Eritreans were deported, many young girls, some as young as 12 gang raped by the notorious Ethiopian soldiers, many separated from their families, and exchange students and others detained,tortured and killed.

    The Eritreans did not resort to such recriminations. Some Ethiopians who were deemed to be a security risks were given notice and time to gather/sell their belongings before they were repatriated by the ICRC.

    The minority regime in Ethiopia is aided by the west and its mission remains the destablization of the region on behalf of its masters. The minority regime has and continues to commit invasions of neighboring countries, genocide against Ethiopians, the west didn’t denounce it as it did in Darfur. In my opinion, this explains the silence and collaboration of the western media and so called NGO’s.

    View online : Eritrea expels over 800 Ethiopians home - official Eritrea expels over 800 Ethiopians home - official

    • 30 October 2007 05:47, by Habtom

      I agree Sudan Tribune should have tried to verify the story and also post the statement from ICRC.

      ICRC ’s statement dismisses allegations that 800 Ethiopians were
      expelled by Eritrea

      Monday, October 29, 2007

      Eritrea/Ethiopia: 885 civilians repatriated

      On 26 October 2007, 835 civilians were repatriated from Eritrea to
      Ethiopia under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red
      Cross (ICRC). In the same operation, 50 civilians were repatriated from
      Ethiopia to Eritrea.

      Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary, the
      ICRC carried out this repatriation based on the consent of each
      individual and with the cooperation of the authorities.

      ICRC delegates based in Eritrea and an ambulance team of the Eritrean
      Red Cross accompanied the civilians going to Ethiopia on the first part
      of their journey from Asmara, Eritrea’s capital, to the border.

      At the crossing point at Mereb River, located between the towns of Adi
      Quala in Eritrea and Rama in Ethiopia, the group was met by ICRC
      delegates based in Ethiopia, before being placed in the care of the
      Ethiopian authorities.

      Likewise, ICRC delegates based in Ethiopia accompanied the civilians
      going to Eritrea to the border, where they were met by ICRC delegates
      based in Eritrea, before being placed in the care of the Eritrean

      The ICRC has assisted people affected by the 1998-2000 armed conflict
      between Ethiopia and Eritrea regarding their repatriation since June
      2000 and strives to ensure compliance with the rules and principles of
      International Humanitarian Law; in particular, the Geneva Conventions of


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