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Rwanda: one year on

05-04-1995 News Release 14

One year after the genocide began in Rwanda in April 1994, the ICRC is continuing to provide assistance and protection for vulnerable members of the country's population. A total of 120 delegates and about 800 Rwandan staff are currently based in Kigali (main delegation), Butare, Gikongoro, Cyangugu, Kibuye, Kibungo, Gisenyi and Byumba. With a budget for Rwanda of

53 million US dollars for 1995, the ICRC is engaged in a variety of programmes, including protection of detainees, reunification of families separated by the conflict, restoration of water supplies and medical facilities and distribution of food and seed.

 30,000 detainees held in appalling conditions  

" We will continue to monitor the situation in the country and adjust our efforts should new humanitarian needs arise " , said ICRC head of delegation Jean-François Sangsue. The situation in Rwanda's 13 prisons and more than 100 other places of detention is still extremely critical. ICRC delegates are doing their utmost to improve the appalling conditions endured by more than 30,000 detainees, distributing emergency supplies of food and water, carrying out sanitation work and providing support for the prison health services.

 1,000 children reunited with their families  

" In the coming months we shall do everything possible to speed up the rate of family reunifications. More than 1,000 children have already rejoined their families and 57,000 others have been entered in the ICRC database and are waiting to be reunited with their rela tives. Furthermore, we shall take a careful look at the results of the next harvest in June and July and are ready to continue our seed programme if it turns out that some farmers have not yet regained self-sufficiency " , added Sangsue.

Today, one year after conflict broke out in the country, the situation in material terms appears to have stabilized, as most Rwandans now have access to food and clean water.

 Rwandan population still traumatized  

In psychological terms the Rwandan population is still traumatized. " Rwanda has now entered a period of remembrance where people will relive the tragic events of last year " , concluded Jean-François Sangsue. " It will be a time filled with grief and distress. We can only hope that the collective anguish will recede and that human dignity in this country will be respected in times to come " .

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