Geneva/Bamako (ICRC) – The three staff members with whom the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had lost contact on 16 April were unconditionally released today, safe and sound. Contact had been lost while they were returning from an assignment in northern Mali.
"We are relieved at this happy ending for our team. For their families, who were immediately informed, it marks the end of an ordeal," said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC's delegation in Mali. "We thank the authorities, the local people, the community and religious leaders, and everyone who was there for us during this trying time. We also thank the families for their trust and their courage."
The ICRC will not speculate on the reasons for this incident or on who was responsible. "We hope that this outcome means that we can continue helping people affected by the conflict," said Mr Luedi. "We once again call for the strictly humanitarian role of the ICRC and the Mali Red Cross to be respected."
For further information, please contact:
Valery Mbaoh Nana, ICRC Bamako, tel: +223 76 99 63 75
Claire Kaplun, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05