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Kosovo crisis: ICRC stepping up activities

14-10-1998 News Release 98/35

Geneva (ICRC) - After a ten-day suspension of its field activities following a landmine incident in which a doctor was killed and three other medical staff injured, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is resuming its activities throughout Kosovo and seeking to restore the high degree of access to persons in need that it had in recent months. Field trips will be subject to enhanced security assessments, particularly regarding the threat of landmines. A first relief convoy left Pristina this morning with 30 tonnes of food and other supplies to be distributed to displaced people in Mitrovica, north of Pristina. Further convoys are planned for the coming days.

On Monday 12 October, ICRC delegates distributed food and other basic necessities to 200 wounded and sick people at Pristina hospital. Beneficiaries included patients coming from areas affected by the recent violence, refugees from Krajina, and vulnerable individuals treated at the hospital.

The ICRC team in Pristina comprises five delegates working with the support of senior national staff. Last week the organization decided to stay on in Yugoslavia even in the event of airstrikes.