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Republic of the Congo: two ICRC staff members abducted

05-12-2002 News Release 02/75

Geneva (ICRC) – A delegate and a local employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were abducted yesterday afternoon by seven unidentified armed men near the village of Doungou, in the Bouenza region of the Republic of the Congo.

The two men were taken away as they were assessing the needs of displaced persons in the area.

The delegate, a 41-year-old French national, has been working for the ICRC on a regular basis since August 1995. He was accompanied by a 37-year-old Congolese employee, who himself has been working with the ICRC for nearly three years as a sanitary engineer. They had travelled to several villages situated to the south-west of Brazzaville to meet with people displaced by the recent disturbances.

The ICRC's representatives in Brazzaville have informed the country's military and civilian authorities of the situation and are remaining in permanent contact with them with a view to resolving the crisis as soon as possible.

The ICRC is deeply concerned about the fate of its two staff members and strongly condemns this act,   which can only have negative consequences for humanitarian action in the country.

    

    

 Further information:  

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