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World Refugee Day 2004: Ethiopia

World Refugee Day 2004: Ethiopia

20 June 2004

The World Refugee Day event at the African Union premises. © UNHCR Ethiopia

The World Refugee Day ceremony was held at the African Union (AU) premises. The first segment was a high-level panel with the participation of government officials in charge of repatriation and reintegration of returnees and internally displaced persons in Angola, Burundi, Sierra Leone, as well as senior officials of the AU and UN.

The second segment was the ceremony at the AU conference centre, which centred on a keynote address of solidarity with refugees and the need to find durable solutions as well as the adoption of a declaration stated on the conclusions of the panel discussions.

The third segment was cultural activities and display of works produced by refugees and displaced persons.

On 31 May, AU officials and journalists went on a field visit to witness the ongoing voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees from Aisha camp.

From 1 to 23 June, a photo exhibition depicting the lives of Sudanese refugees in western Ethiopia's camps took place at the Goethe Institute and at the AU Conference Centre.

On 20 June, Eritrean refugees celebrated World Refugee Day in their new camp at Shimelba in northern Tigray. Various competition games were performed by refugees and about 30 winners were awarded UNHCR T-shirts, magazines and leaflets.

The celebration of World Refugee Day in Mizan paved the way for Sudanese refugees to interact with the host communities. There were sport tournaments between refugees and local people, cultural performances and speeches. World Refugee Day was also celebrated by all the Sudanese refugees in Bonga, Fugnido, Sherkole and Yarenja camps.

Refugees showing off their culture during World Refugee Day celebrations.

From 18 to 20 June, all the religious leaders showed their solidarity with refugees and displaced people through their prayers and by giving blessings so that they can return home.