Syria / Yemen / Mali: Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement shocked by deadly attacks on humanitarian workers

31 March 2015

Geneva / Damascus / Sana'a / Bamako – The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is shocked and saddened by three unconnected attacks that took place yesterday against teams performing their humanitarian duties in Yemen, Syria and Mali. Three workers died in the attacks.

A volunteer with the Syria branch of the Palestine Red Crescent Society was shot and killed in Yarmouk camp near Damascus. In Yemen, a Red Crescent worker was shot and killed while coming to the aid of people who had been wounded in fighting in the Al-Sulaf area of Zubaid in the southern district of Al-Dhale'. In Mali, an attack on an ICRC aid truck near Gao left an ICRC staff member dead and a member of the Mali Red Cross injured.

"Attacks on humanitarian workers are completely unacceptable and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms," said Yves Daccord, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). "These were people dedicated to helping others under the most difficult and dangerous conditions. All parties to conflict must abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and may not attack humanitarian personnel, hospitals or ambulances."

"It is profoundly shocking and unacceptable that lives are being lost in the service of others," said Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "Humanitarian space must be created and respected to allow Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and health workers to care for people in need and alleviate human suffering among the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach communities. Our staff and volunteers are needed today more than ever before, and they must be protected by all."

Earlier this month the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement issued a statement to denounce the recent violence against its volunteers and staff. The Movement reiterates that message today.

For further information, please contact:
Ewan Watson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 244 64 70
Benoit Matsha-Carpentier, International Federation, Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 46 96 or +41 79 213 24 13