Starting Monday 18 June 2007, the Office of the Legal Advisor is distributing Claim Forums for presentation to the Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission (EECC) in both Tigrinya and English. These Claim Forums are for Eritrean civilians who were victims of Ethiopia's violations of international humanitarian law during the 1998 boundary conflict. The Claims Commission has already announced that Ethiopia is legally responsible for certain kinds of injury to Eritrean civilians and their property. It is now in the process of calculating compensation.
You may be eligible for compensation if you fit into one of these categories: (1) you were expelled or deported from Ethiopia; (2) you were living outside Ethiopia (in Eritrea or in a third country) but owned property inside Ethiopia; or (3) you were imprisoned in Ethiopia during the war. You must be an Eritrean to qualify for compensation.
Copies of these Claims Forms can be picked up at the legal Advisor's Office, in the Eritrean Shipping Lines Building (behind the Eritrean Commercial Bank and the Nyala Hotel). Eritreans living outside of Zoba Maekel can obtain copies of the Claim Forum from Local Government offices in Massawa, Ghinda, Keren, Barentu, Tessenei, Adi-Quala, Adi-Keyih, Mendefera and Dekemhare starting on July 1. They can also be obtained by writing to: Legal Advisor's Office, P.O. Box 3191, Asmara, Eritrea .
All Eritreans who want to file claims must do so by filling out a form and returning it to the Office of the Legal Advisor. It is not possible for an individual claimant to file a claim directly with the Claims Commission. The current process is for Eritrean civilians who were living inside Ethiopia or who lived outside Ethiopia but owned property there. It is not necessary to fill out a claim if your property was looted or destroyed by the Ethiopian Army during its occupation of Eritrean territory.
Even if you previously provided a witness statement about your expulsion, property confiscation, or illegal detention, you must still fill out a Claim Forum if you want to ask for compensation. Eritreans who lost houses, motor vehicles, bank accounts, movable property, and businesses must provide documentation of their lost property.
More information can be obtained on the internet at http://www.eritreaclaimsonline.org if you are living outside of Eritrea , you can obtain a copy of the Claim Forum by downloading it from that website. The final deadline for filing a claim is 1 October 2007.