Sierra Leone: a humanitarian wedge
27-03-1996 News Release 96/12
The town of Zimmi, in south-eastern Sierra Leone, has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country for several years by the fighting between the government in Freetown and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). From 20 to 22 March, the ICRC for the first time supplied food aid to this town under government control. Since the roads are too dangerous to use, all travel between the towns of Kenema and Zimmi takes place in a helicopter displaying the red cross emblem. Some 40 tonnes of oil, and corn and soya flour were brought in by air and distributed to 5,600 people. At the same time, a vaccination campaign was conducted for 1,000 children under the age of five.
It was also on board a helicopter marked with a red cross that the ICRC enabled the leader of the RUF, Foday Sankoh, to travel to Côte d'Ivoire for negotiations with the government of Sierra Leone. Meanwhile the ICRC is continuing its food-aid distributions in the Kailahun area, which is under RUF control.