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Yemen: ICRC confirms safe return of staff members

16-05-2013 News Release

Geneva/Sana'a (ICRC) – Three staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who had been held since the beginning of the week by armed individuals in the vicinity of Ja’ar, in Abyan governorate, are now safely back with their colleagues in Aden.

"We are relieved and extremely happy to have our colleagues back with us," said Cedric Schweizer, who heads the ICRC delegation in Yemen. "We would like to thank all those who gave us their support unconditionally with the aim of getting our colleagues back safe and sound."

The ICRC staff members were stopped by armed men at around 11 a.m. local time on 13 May near Ja’ar. They were in an ICRC-marked vehicle on their way back to the delegation from a field trip.

The ICRC has been working in Yemen since 1962, providing aid for civilians affected by the various conflicts that have beset the country. Today, the ICRC is working countrywide, delivering relief assistance, upgrading water supply systems, and providing medical equipment and drugs for health-care facilities. An ICRC surgical team is supporting the work of the surgical unit in Al Razi Corporation General Hospital in Ja'ar. ICRC delegates visit detainees and help Yemeni families maintain contact with loved ones detained abroad. The ICRC currently has over 200 staff, including some 50 international staff, working in Sana'a, Aden, Sa'ada, Amran and Taiz.

For further information, please contact:
Jessica Barry, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 73 607 19 67
Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 37 23 or +41 79 447 37 26