Juba - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has informed parties involved in the conflict in South Sudan that it can facilitate any potential release of persons detained in relation to the conflict.
Following the signature of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians, and Humanitarian Access, the ICRC has confirmed its readiness to act as a neutral intermediary by sharing an offer of services with the parties to the conflict.
The Agreement mentions the ICRC as a facilitator for the release of persons deprived of their liberty in relation to the conflict.
"The ICRC has a long standing record, as neutral intermediary, in facilitating unilateral or simultaneous releases of persons deprived of their freedom in relation to an international or non-international armed conflict", said Francois Stamm, Head of Delegation for the ICRC in South Sudan.
"The overriding aim is to alleviate the suffering of people whose lives have been disrupted by conflict. As a neutral and independent humanitarian actor, the ICRC ensures that each detainee is handed over voluntarily, by giving them the opportunity to express individually and in confidentiality any concerns they might have", Mr. Stamm said.
The ICRC is not in a position to comment on its confidential dialogue with the parties or on any other related development.
"We have approached the various parties concerned in what will remain a bilateral and confidential dialogue and have already facilitated a number of releases. Our role is to make any potential related release possible and ensure that those released are transported voluntarily and safely, not to play a part in negotiating or comment on the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities by the parties" Mr. Stamm said.
The ICRC aims to secure humane treatment and conditions of detention for all those deprived of their liberty, regardless of the reasons for their arrest and detention. It also seeks to alleviate the suffering of their families, particularly by restoring communication between detainees and their relatives.
For more information, please contact:
Mari Aftret Mortvedt, ICRC Spokesperson, firstname.lastname@example.org, M. +211 (0) 912 360 038
Robin Waudo, Communication Coordinator, email@example.com, M: +211 (0) 912 360 023