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Sierra Leone : release of 16 people held by RUF

20-04-1995 News Release 95/12

Geneva (ICRC) - On 20 April the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) the 16 persons it had been holding following military operations in northern and southern areas of Sierra Leone between November 1994 and January 1995. The handover took place on the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The people concerned, six British, three Swiss, one German and six Sierra Leone nationals, immediately boarded ICRC vehicles and are on their way to the Guinean capital Conakry, where they will be met by representatives of their respective countries.

The release operation succeeded thanks to the cooperation of all the parties involved, in particular the governments of Sierra Leone and Guinea and the RUF, which had asked the ICRC to act as a neutral intermediary. 

The ICRC remains concerned about the whole range of humanitarian problems in Sierra Leone, and hopes to secure the cooperation of the government and the RUF in developing its activities for civilians affected by the conflict.