13 June 2006 |

Eritrea: Uncertain future for thousands of returning IDPs

The vast majority of the 1.1 million people displaced by the 1998-2000 border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea have long gone home. But Ethiopia's refusal to accept the decision of an international arbitration commission has left some 40,000 Eritrean internally displaced people (IDPs) still unable to return. Discussions between the two countries and the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission (EEBC) in May 2006 ended without result, apart from the UN Security Council’s decision to further reduce the border monitoring presence of the UN Mission to Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE). Precise IDP figures are unavailable, but the total was expected to fall throughout 2006 from the 2005 total of 45,000. The Eritrean government gave a figure of 8,900 households as of March 2006.



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