The UN refugee agency announced Tuesday it was this week to begin repatriating around 13,000 Ethiopian refugees living in Sudan.
A first convoy of around 1,000 people will leave on Wednesday and by the end of the year around 4,500 Ethiopians will have returned home, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said here.
The UNHCR said conditions which caused the Ethiopians to flee their homeland during the rule of former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam no longer existed.
Mengistu was overthrown in 1991.
In August, the Ethiopian and Sudanese governments signed a tripartite agreement with the UNHCR for the voluntary repatriation of refugees still in Sudan.
Vast numbers of Ethiopians fled their country before 1991 to Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Yemen.
In the past nine years, hundreds of thousands have returned home, about 300,000 of whom who were assisted by the UNHCR -- GENEVA (AFP)
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