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East Timor: ICRC urges respect for civilians and aid workers

27-08-1999 News Release 99/47

Geneva (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply concerned about the humanitarian implications of the outbreaks of violence occurring in the runup to the forthcoming consultation in East Timor.

The ICRC calls on all those bearing weapons to respect the civilian population, persons displaying the protective red cross emblem and the staff of other humanitarian organizations.

During clashes in Dili yesterday the ICRC took five casualties to hospital, one of whom died an hour later. The organization stands ready to assist and protect any further victims, in accordance with the criteria governing its neutral and independent humanitarian action. 

The ICRC currently has 11 delegates in East Timor and another in West Timor as part of a joint ICRC/Indonesian Red Cross rapid response team. Stocks of food, medical material and other relief supplies have been built up on both sides of the island so that delegates can meet needs as they arise.