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Guinea: ICRC very concerned by incidents of violence in Conakry

01-10-2009 News Release 09/197

Conakry (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is very concerned about the incidents of violence that have occurred over the past few days in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, and by allegations of serious crimes committed against civilians.

The ICRC reiterates that the rights of the civilian population under international human rights law and national legislation must be respected. It stresses in particular the rules governing the proportionate use of force in maintaining law and order.

On 28, 29 and 30 September, the Red Cross Society of Guinea and the ICRC provided emergency medical assistance for more than 350 injured people in Conakry. Over 220 Guinean Red Cross personnel were sent to various parts of the capital to administer first aid to the victims and transfer the most serious cases to referral medical facilities, mainly Donka National Hospital. The ICRC provided six vehicles to evacuate the wounded. In addition, it supplied a surgical kit for treating 50 patients to the medical authorities at Donka.

The ICRC also continued to visit Donka National Hospital, where it has had a programme under way for many years to boost the hospital's capacity to manage patients with bullet wounds.

The access of Red Cross personnel to victims in the areas concerned was generally satisfactory. Several times, however, Guinean Red Cross and ICRC personnel, and injured people in vehicles displaying the red cross emblem, were set upon by individuals from the armed forces. These incidents were ultimately resolved when military officers intervened.

The ICRC and the Guinean Red Cross remain concerned about the situation and remind the authorities and people of the country of their obligation to respect the neutral and impartial humanitarian activities of the Red Cross carried out in behalf of all victims of armed violence, whether the victims be military or civilian, and regardl ess of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation. In particular, personnel and vehicles protected by the red cross emblem must be respected in all circumstances.

  For further information, please contact:
  Isabelle Bourges, ICRC Conakry, tel: +224 63 35 13 61 or +224 63 40 88 94
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2458 or +41 79 217 3224