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Togo: Aid for the displaced and all-out effort to raise awareness of humanitarian principles

16-06-2005 News Release 05/55

The electoral and post-electoral violence that shook Togo in late April caused many people to flee their villages, especially in the Plateaux and Central regions.

On 9 June, in order to help the most vulnerable among them (those that had lost their homes and other belongings), the ICRC and the Togolese Red Cross began distributing basic necessities – mats, clothing, soap, buckets and cooking utensils – in two dozen villages in the Plateaux region. Some 5,000 people are benefiting from this operation, which will be extended in the coming days to over 1,000 people in the Central region.

On 10 June, the ICRC also conducted a major awareness-raising session for 1,000 recruits of the Togolese armed forces in Kara, in the north of the country, to facilitate the action of the Movement (ICRC and Togolese Red Cross) in situations of internal violence. The session focused on the Movement and on the humanitarian principles that must be observed by the recruits when they take part in operations. Special emphasis was placed on the neutrality of the red cross emblem and on the obligation to respect the emblem in situations of violence. Before returning to their garrisons, all the recruits received copies of the Soldier's Handbook from the ICRC.

The awareness-raising effort undertaken by the ICRC in the wake of the recent violence is also aimed at the general public, especially youth. As part of an ICRC-sponsored media campaign, State television and the private channels Delta Santé and TV2 regularly broadcast videoclips from the musical album L'homme, un remède pour l'homme.  

 For further information, please contact:  

 Emmanuel Placca, Lomé, tel. : +228 221 55 28  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, Geneva, tel. : +41 22 730 22 71  

 or visit our website: www.cicr.org