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Côte d’Ivoire: ICRC calls on all sides to respect humanitarian principles

17-12-2010 News Release 10/232

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is extremely concerned by the violence that has broken out in Côte d'Ivoire following the second round of presidential elections. Many people have been killed or injured during violent clashes in several towns.

The ICRC calls on all persons involved in these clashes to respect basic humanitarian principles. People must not be killed or injured, and their dignity must be preserved. In particular, the ICRC emphasizes that security forces maintaining order must only use force when it is absolutely necessary and only in a proportionate manner.

The ICRC calls on demonstrators and all forces to respect and protect the injured, medical personnel, medical facilities and any vehicle used as an ambulance. Health personnel, in particular the volunteers of the Red Cross Society of Côte d'Ivoire, must be able to provide aid unhindered.

"Everyone must respect Red Cross volunteers and allow them to work in safety if the wounded and vulnerable are to receive the care and the assistance they need," stated Dominique Liengme, head of the ICRC's regional delegation in Abidjan.

Since 26 November, Red Cross volunteers supported by the ICRC have treated almost 550 people, of whom 250 serious cases were evacuated to the nearest medical facility.

 

For further information, please contact:
Kelnor Panglungtshang, ICRC Abidjan, tel: +225 09 399 404
Steven Anderson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 20 11 or +41 79 536 92 50