Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ethiopia frees 68 Eritrean PoW, 7 seek asylum in Ethiopia - The Africa Report.com

Ethiopia said on Monday it had released 68 Eritrean prisoners of War (PoW), but seven of them have sought asylum in the country that once held them prisoners.

The Eritreans were caught during a March raid on Eritrean military bases, which Ethiopia claims were used for "hit-and-run" attacks by subversive groups operating in the remote region.
The attack was carried out following the killing of five European tourists. Ethiopia claimed the attackers were operating from Eritrean territory and had been trained by that country's government.
Monday's amnesty, according to the Ethiopian government, is to promote cordial relations between the two countries.
"This is also part of the government policy to promote and strengthen the two countries' public to public relations and to live peacefully," a government statement said.
The 68 PoW were freed under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
However, Ethiopia's communication affairs office said seven of the PoWs declined repatriation to Eritrea and instead sought asylum in Ethiopia.
Six years after Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia a border dispute broke out between the two countries in 1999 during which thousands of troops from both sides were killed.
The two sides are still unable to solve the dispute, despite an arbitrary commission set up in The Hague to help find a lasting solution.
Ethiopia, which says it accepts a verdict on the border dispute from the commission, in "principle", is asking for dialogue with Eritrea before implementing the decision.
Eritrea refused any dialogue with Ethiopia unless the border decision is implemented and demarcated.
But Ethiopia insists that the border demarcation decided by the commission would split homes and families, and as such needs further dialogue.
Currently, the two countries are said to be in a "no peace, no war situation".

Read the original article on Theafricareport.com : Ethiopia frees 68 Eritrean PoW, 7 seek asylum in Ethiopia [501819692] | The Africa Report.com 
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