The ICRC regional delegation in Dakar
The ICRC focuses on promoting IHL among the armed forces and other bearers of weapons and on encouraging implementation of that law by the authorities in Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. It also supports the activities of the Red Cross Societies, assists people affected by violence in Casamance and in Guinea-Bissau, and visits detainees of ICRC concern.
The ICRC opened a regional delegation in Dakar in 1989 and an office in Guinea-Bissau in 1998. In 2004, it set up a sub-delegation in Ziguinchor, in Senegal's southern region of Casamance, to be able to bring assistance to displaced populations and returnees after armed clashes between government forces and the Mouvement des forces démocratiques de la Casamance (MFDC). As of January 2010, the regional delegation in Dakar covers Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. In Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, as in other regions ravaged by conflict or violence, ICRC delegates visit people deprived of their freedom and evaluate the conditions of detention to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.
In northern Guinea-Bissau and the southern Senegalese region of Casamance, the ICRC works alongside populations affected by armed violence and insecurity, providing emergency aid and essential supplies. It also supports agricultural production and basic health care facilities, and helps improve access to safe drinking water.
The Dakar regional delegation cooperates with national authorities to promote international humanitarian law among as broad a public as possible, from the armed forces and other arms bearers, to university staff and students. It offers governments aid and advice in ratifying and implementing treaties of international humanitarian law on a national level.
In addition, the regional delegation supports the National Societes of the Red Cross in Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal in their work, which focuses on the most vulnerable populations.