Thousands of ethnic Tigrayans who have been detained in camps in north-east Ethiopia since December are being transported back to their homes.
The UN is facilitating their return back to their homes near the border between the Afar and Tigray regions.
It said the operation would continue for a week.
The government in Addis Ababa said they had been taken to the camps for their own safety as the civil was spread.
But the state-run Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said they had been targeted because of their ethnicity and described the detention of around 9,000 Tigrayans as illegal.
Their return comes as hopes of peace talks to try to end the civil war appear imminent.
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