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Côte d’Ivoire: ICRC calls on armed forces to respect international humanitarian law

05-11-2004 News Release 04/60

Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the resumption of hostilities in Côte d’Ivoire and their dramatic consequences for the people of that country.

In its capacity as guardian of international humanitarian law, the ICRC reminds members of the armed forces of their obligation to respect and ensure respect for the basic rules of this branch of the law.

International humanitarian law requires that civilians be kept away from hostilities and that all necessary measures be taken to ensure that they are not harmed. People must have access to the objects and services that are indispensable to their survival, especially water, food and medical care.

The lives of people arrested for reasons of security must be protected. International humanitarian law prohibits summary execution, torture and other types of cruel or inhuman treatment at all times.

Members of the armed forces must respect the emblem of the Red Cross. Personnel of the ICRC and of the Red Cross Society of Côte d'Ivoire must be protected, and their humanitarian work must be facilitated. On 4 November, first-aiders from the Red Cross Society of Côte d'Ivoire, supported by the ICRC, evacuated people injured by shelling in Bouaké.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Kim Gordon-Bates, ICRC Abidjan, tel.: +225 05 391 602  

 Marco Jiménez, ICRC Geneva, tel.: +41 79 217 32 17