News release

Burkina Faso: Detainees must be treated with humanity and dignity

Ouagadougou (ICRC) – For several months now, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been concerned by the lack of compliance with international humanitarian law in Burkina Faso. Armed conflict is causing the humanitarian situation in the country to deteriorate and civilians are paying a heavy price. The ICRC calls on all parties to the conflict and those involved in the violence to exercise restraint, particularly regarding people who have been captured.

"We are appealing directly to the security and defence forces, to all armed groups and to volunteers taking part in the conflict. Everyone must show respect for life and human dignity at all times and without distinction," said Laurent Saugy, head of the ICRC's delegation in Burkina Faso. "The law also applies during arrests and when a person is being held, wherever that may be. Carrying a weapon does not give you unlimited power over people; on the contrary, it makes you responsible for them."

The respect for people's dignity also applies to those who have died. Families must have safe access to recover the body and be able to give them a proper burial.

The ICRC has been present in Burkina Faso since 2006 and continues to strengthen its presence there in order to impartially help people affected by the violence, together with the Burkinabe Red Cross Society. The ICRC is also seeking to maintain and develop a constructive humanitarian dialogue with all parties to the conflict.

For more information, please contact:

Eméline Yameogo, Communications Coordinator, Ouagadougou, Tel.: + 226 70 75 64 94, 

Halimatou Amadou, Public Relations Officer, Dakar, Tel.: +221 78 18 64 687,