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Somalia: shelling of Mogadishu's Keysaney Hospital continues despite ICRC pleas

01-07-2010 News Release 122/10

Geneva (ICRC) – For the third consecutive day, shelling is taking place near Keysaney Hospital in northern Mogadishu.

Two more mortar shells have hit the hospital since yesterday, causing damage to the structure. On 29 June a first shell killed one patient and wounded another.

" We are shocked about the situation at Keysaney. Despite our repeated calls to all warring parties to respect international humanitarian law and spare medical facilities, nothing seems to have changed on the ground, " said Pascal Mauchle, who heads the Somalia delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). " The situation is becoming more and more dangerous for patients and medical staff by the day. "

Once again, the ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent Society remind all parties to the conflict that launching attacks against medical facilities marked with the red crescent emblem is a violation of international humanitarian law. The parties must spare medical staff and hospitals, clinics and similar medical facilities the effects of hostilities. Whether launching an attack or positioning military personnel and materiel, all those involved in the hostilities must take every feasible precaution to minimize the potential harm to civilians and to civilian objects such as hospitals.

Keysaney is one of two ICRC-supported surgical hospitals in Mogadishu. It is managed by the Somali Red Crescent and accepts all patients, regardless of their clan and religious or political background. The ICRC provides the hospital with surgical equipment, medicines and training for doctors and nurses. Since the beginning of the year nearly 1,400 war patients have been treated at the hospital, including over 300 wom en and around 200 children.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Yves Van Loo, ICRC Somalia, tel: +254 736 084 015  

 Nicole Engelbrecht, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17