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The ICRC condemns and deplores two serious security incidents

15-01-1998 News Release 98/02

The ICRC condemns and deplores two serious security incidents which took place within the space of three days. In Sri Lanka, Mr Gnapiragasam Thimoty Raveenthiran was killed during the night of 9 January while he was guarding the ICRC sub-delegation premises in Vavuniya. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mr Sylvain Mutombo, a driver employed by the ICRC delegation in Kinshasa, was murdered on 12 January while carrying out his duties. Both men were married and had children.

Although the two incidents took place in different parts of the world, they were both the work of armed criminal elements, and demonstrate the growing insecurity of certain spheres in which humanitarian staff are operating. The matter is a source of ever-growing concern to the ICRC, which has responded by tightening the already stringent measures it had taken to ensure the safety of its staff in high-risk areas. Such incidents also demonstrate the need for all those involved in any way in humanitarian assistance operations to intensify and conclude the existing debate on security as quickly as possible.