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Somalia: ICRC and International Federation extremely concerned by the plight of abducted staff

20-04-1998 News Release 98/16

Geneva - Following the broadcast of TV pictures, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation) are extremely worried about the situation of their staff members abducted in Mogadishu.

The pictures showed a man threatening an ICRC delegate with his gun and issuing a ransom demand together with an ultimatum.

Shocked by this spectacle, the ICRC and the International Federation appeal to all parties concerned not to expose the ten captives to public curiosity.

The ICRC is in constant contact with elders of the Somali clans and with politicians and influential Somalis who are holding discussions with the kidnappers. No ransom demand has been made through these channels. The ICRC remains confident that it has adopted the right approach and in the commitment of all those involved to secure the unconditional release of the hostages.

The ICRC and the International Federation urgently request the kidnappers to respect the physical and moral integrity of the ten, and reiterate the call for their immediate and unconditional release.