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Libya: rules of war must be applied as fighting in Libya intensifies

10-03-2011 News Footage Ref. CR-F-01081-D

At a press conference in Geneva (10.03.11), ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger urged all those involved in Libya's armed conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law and, in particular, to take all possible precautions to spare civilian lives.

Footage available from the ICRC Video Newsroom (www.icrcvideonewsroom.org), 10 March, together with accompanying dopesheet. Easy to preview and download.

For more information, please contact Didier Revol, ICRC, Geneva,
tel: + 41 79 217 32 82, or e-mail

At a press conference in Geneva (10.03.11),  ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger urged all those involved in Libya's armed conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law and, in particular,  to take all possible precautions to spare civilian lives.  

The ICRC reported a sharp increase in casualties arriving at hospitals in Ajdabiya and Misrata in recent days.  Its medical teams in these hospitals are assisting local doctors treating those injured in the fighting.   At Ajdabya hospital, ICRC and local medical staff work round the clock to treat the war-wounded.

Alarmed at the intensification in fighting in Libya and mounting casualties, President Kellenberger  repeated the most important  rules  of war  which are applicable in this context.  He stressed that, "there has to be a distinction between civilians and fighters.  It is prohibited to attack civilians."

President Kellenberger insisted  that, "acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are  prohibited."  and that,  "medical personnel, transport and infrastructure should be protected."

Since the beginning of the conflict, the ICRC has been unable to reach western Libya to provide assistance to those in need. The president pointed out that the ICRC had been among the first humanitarians to arrive in the east  but still had no access to the west: "In order to be able to assist we must have access," he said. " We don’t have access to the area controlled by Tripoli so far, and our main focus will be to try to get access."


SHOTLIST  


VIDEO 1 ICRC President Kellenberger calls for the rules of war to be applied

Date: 10.03.11
Location: ICRC Headquarters, Geneva

ICRC President Jacob Kellenberger speaks at press conference,  ICRC Headquarters, Geneva (English):


00:00   I have to recall some of the rules of International Humanitarian law which are applicable in this context.  And I do really hope that those responsible for the fighting do understand what it means  to violate those rules. Now first thing it is obvious… there has to be a distinction between civilians and fighters and there has to be made a distinction between military objects and civilian objects. And it is utterly clear in International Humanitarian Law that civilians have to be protected, it is prohibited to attack civilians and it is also prohibited to attack civilian objects.  

01:02    Number 2 is an important point that also, in that context,  acts or threats … of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are  prohibited.  I repeat, acts of acts of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited. 

01:46   I would like to underline in the present context that medical personnel, medical establishments and medical transport are protected and it is totally prohibited to attack them.  I repeat medical staff, medical installations and medical transport.

01:17   And my last point is about persons deprived of liberty. In the context of an armed context, they have to be treated with humanity and their dignity has to be respected. And that is applicable to both sides of the armed conflict.

02:49 cutaway

02:55  Now we have 2 medical teams in Benghazi -  the one with the Finnish Red Cross is still blocked in Tunisia, this one is trying to enter from Tunisia into the western pat of Libya. That’s where we are.  Now we have used recent days to increase our stocks in medical supplies because we have seen in some hospitals there are important needs for medical supplies.  

03:33 cutaways

03:39  In order to be able to assist we must have access and … we do not… we have access in the east, we were among the first ones to arrive, with expat staff, but we don’t have access to the area controlled by Tripoli so far.  And our main focus will be to try to get access.

04:07 cutaways

04:18:  Ends

 

VIDEO 2 Ajdabiya Hospital
Date: 09.03.11
Location: Ajdabiah Hospital, Libya

00:00 : Ambulance arrives at Ajdabiyah hospital entrance

00:08 : A wounded man brought  to hospital on a stretcher

00:20 : Pick-up truck with machine gun outside hospital

00:24 : Wounded person brought in on a wheelchair

00:29 : Man with leg wounds brought out of ambulance

00:37 : door of operation theatre closing

00:43: scenes from intensive care unit

00:50: Dr. Mosbah Abdallah caring for a seriously injured person and talking to his team

01:04 : Dr. Mosbah Abdallah (English) : "First of all I am a Libyan doctor and I am very concerned with what is happening in my country. I am very upset and very sorry for what is going on here."

01:16 : Patient with amputated leg being inspected by Dr. Mosbah Abdallah and ICRC nurse Liv Raad

01:30: Interview Norwegian nurse Liv Raad, ICRC (English): "We get wounded from both fighting parties like this gentleman here who is from the opposite side. He is being treated very very well like all the others both by doctors and nurses. He has a severe injury but the care they are giving is… I am impressed."

01:55 : Dr. Mosbah Abdallah and other team members taking a break at hospital canteen and watching the news.

02:03 : Interview: Norwegian nurse Liv Raad.

03:22 : end


  • Copyright: ICRC Access All
  • Release year: 2011
  • Production locations: Geneva, Switzerland; Ajdabiah Hospital, Libya
  • Running time: 4'18 min; 2'03 min
  • Languages available: (Sound) English, Norwegian
  • Reference: CR-F-01081-D