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Senegal: At work in Casamance

04-12-1997 News Release 97/48

On 3 December an ICRC team began a series of visits to persons arrested in connection with the events in the Casamance region of Senegal and held in places of detention in Dakar, Ziguinchor in the south, and Kolda in the south-east. In the course of these visits, which will continue until 12 December, the team, made up of the ICRC regional delegate and a doctor, will hold private talks with the detainees in order to assess their conditions of detention and treatment. Since June 1996 the ICRC has been conducting regular visits to detainees in Senegal who fall within its mandate. In addition, on 26 November the ICRC supplied the regional hospital in Ziguinchor with 715 kg of medical and surgical equipment to help provide treatment for people wounded in the conflict.

In cooperation with the ICRC, the regional committee of the Senegalese Red Cross Society last week distributed food aid to more than 740 families (approximately 7,000 people) in Ziguinchor who had been forced to flee their homes following clashes in Casamance between the Senegalese armed forces and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance. Each displaced family received 25 kg of rice and 2.5 kg litres cooking oil.

These humanitarian operations are conducted by the Senegalese Red Cross with ICRC support in a context marked by a resurgence of hostilities in the region since last summer.