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Senegal: ICRC facilitates release of four civilians

25-02-2005 News Release 05/17

On 19 February, at the request of a military wing of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), the ICRC facilitated the release of four civilians held by the group for the past month.

The four were brought back to their homes in Ziguinchor, the capital of Casamance. The operation took place with the consent of all the authorities concerned.

Casamance, the southernmost region of Senegal, has been affected by an internal conflict since the early 1980s. However, the fighting has gradually abated in recent years, and a peace agreement was signed on 30 December 2004 by the MFDC and the Senegalese government.

In July 2004, with the encouragement of all the authorities concerned, the ICRC set up a large-scale programme to assist the health services, improve the supply of drinking water and boost vegetable production in this region isolated by the fighting.

The ICRC is seeking to pursue its humanitarian activities in Casamance and is ready to contribute, as a neutral and independent intermediary, to creating a climate conducive to peace.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Henri Fournier, ICRC Dakar, tel.: +221 824 12 93  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel.: +41 22 730 22 71