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Republic of the Congo: Detainees released by government and rebels

26-03-2003 News Release 03/22

Geneva (ICRC) – A number of people detained in connection with the conflict were released yesterday in Brazzaville in the presence of several ministers of the Congolese government, representatives of Reverend Ntumi's National Resistance Council and the ICRC.

The Congolese authorities released 21 people, all of whom had been arrested and detained for security reasons. The day before, Reverend Ntumi's movement had released 18 people, including 14 members of the Congolese armed forces who had been detained in the Pool region for several months by the Ninjas.

ICRC delegates had previously held private interviews with the people released by the government to ascertain their state of health and check their identities.

The detainees were set free following the commitment undertaken in the Congolese capital on 17 March by the government and a representative of Reverend Ntumi to respect the 1999 agreement calling for a ceasefire and an end to hostilities.

 Further information:  

 Juan Martinez, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++ 41 79 217 32 17  

 Maarten Merkelbach, ICRC Brazzaville, tel. ++242 81 12 08 or 61 39 38