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Niger: four French citizens released under ICRC auspices

26-06-2008 News Release 08/113

Dakar / Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today returned to Agadez four French citizens who had been held by the Mouvement des Nigériens pour la justice (MNJ).

The MNJ handed the four civilians over to ICRC personnel in the Aïr area of northern Niger after the ICRC, in its capacity as a neutral intermediary, had facilitated their release. As part of the same operation, the MNJ placed one person from Niger in the ICRC's care. All five civilians were brought safely to Agadez, where they were greeted by the country’s authorities.

In operations conducted in June and July 2007 and in February and May 2008 the ICRC facilitated the release of 36 individuals from Niger – mainly military personnel - and one Chinese citizen, held by the MNJ.

The ICRC reminds all those concerned that they are obliged to respect the principles of humanity. In particular, they must protect civilians and detainees.

The ICRC has been present on a permanent basis in Niamey since 2004 and cooperates closely with the Red Cross Society of Niger. In September 2007 it opened an office in Agadez. Since 2000, it has been carrying out regular visits to places of detention under the responsibility of the authorities of Niger.

  For further information, please contact:
  Juan Coderque, ICRC Dakar, tel:+221 77 450 10 02
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24