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Gambia: Red Cross assists over 400 Senegalese refugees

08-03-2011 News Release 11/51

Banjul (ICRC) – More than 400 Senegalese refugees in Gambia will receive three-month food rations, sleeping mats, clothing, soap and hygiene kits from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Gambia Red Cross Society over the coming days.

The southern Senegalese region of Casamance has witnessed new rounds of clashes between the Senegalese armed forces and armed groups since late December 2010. Hundreds of people have fled their homes, seeking refuge with host families across the border in Gambia and swelling the ranks of some 6,000 Senegalese refugees already present in the neighbouring country.

"The people fled without any belongings," said Jean-Luc Metzker, head of the ICRC mission in Gambia. "Food stocks are running out, so the Red Cross decided to provide them with emergency aid."

Through its newly opened mission in Banjul, the ICRC will continue to assess the situation of these refugees and of any others who may arrive in the country. The ICRC is working in close cooperation with the Gambian Red Cross and coordinating its actions with the Gambian authorities and other humanitarian agencies.

For further information, please contact:
Jean-Luc Metzker, ICRC Banjul, tel: +220 77 752 90
Lamin Gassama, The Gambia Red Cross Society Banjul, tel: +220 99 163 88
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Dakar, tel: +221 77 529 71 45