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Peru/Ecuador: ICRC visits two Peruvian prisoners of war in Ecuadorean hands

02-02-1995 News Release 95/2

Geneva (ICRC) - On 1 February the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited two Peruvian prisoners of war held by the Ecuadorean armed forces. The visit was carried out according to the ICRC's customary procedures, and the two prisoners were registered and were able to write Red Cross messages to their families.

The Ecuadorean Red Cross has conducted an initial survey of the needs of families forced to leave their homes because of the fighting, and has constituted stocks of blankets, mattresses and clothing for the displaced. Blood transfusion centres have also been set up near the combat zones. The ICRC is providing support to the Ecuadorean Red Cross in its assistance activities.

In Peru, where the ICRC has maintained a permanent presence since 1984, delegates have had interviews with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are currently trying to enter into negotiations with the Peruvian Ministry of Defence. In Ecuador, an ICRC delegate went to Quito on 28 January for discussions with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence.

On 30 January the ICRC handed over to both governments a memorandum requesting them to abide by the provisions of international humanitarian law, in particular to care for the wounded, respect the civilian population and authorize the ICRC to visit prisoners of war.