IOM Statement on the Eritrean Refugees held at Bole Airport, Ethiopia

Source: IOM email

Friday December 11, 2020

IOM Refutes Allegations Eritreans Held, Processed for Forced Return

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) strongly refutes allegations that a group of Eritrean refugees are being held by IOM and being processed for forced return in one of its transit centres in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The Organization equally rejects allegations that IOM buses have been used to transport theĀ refugees to an unknown destination.

One of three IOM centres in Addis Ababa was taken over by the Ethiopian Government’s Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) on 3 December. IOM has had no management authority, oversight or involvement in any activities undertaken by the authorities in the centre since that time.

IOM does not under any circumstances conduct the forced return of migrants and refugees. The Organization’s approach to return assistance for migrants relies on the pillars of protection, human rights and voluntariness and in full respect of International Law.

The Organization is extremely concerned about these reports and appeals to States to ensure the protection of all civilians, including migrants and refugees. International Law and its Conventions, including the Principle of Non-Refoulement, must be respected at all times.

For more information, please contact: Safa Msehli, IOM Spokesperson in Geneva; Tel: +41 79 403 5526, email: smsehli@iom.int

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