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Burkina Faso: Information day

22-06-2000 News Release 00/23

The ICRC joined with the Burkinabé Red Cross Society on 16 June to hold a Red Cross information day in the capital Ouagadougou. It was attended by 36 representatives of organizations from civil society, the independent and official press, and municipal authorities.

Burkina Faso has regularly been the scene of violent demonstrations since journalist Norbert Zongo was murdered in December 1998. The aim of the day's organizers was to familiarize members of the country's civil society (from which the protests have largely sprung) with the working procedures of the Red Cross and the basic rules of international humanitarian law, though it should be pointed out that during previous demonstrations organized by Collectif contre l'impunité , Red Cross volunteers have been able to work unhindered and take the injured to hospital.

Similar meetings are now being planned in Bobo Dioulasso and Ouahigouya, two of Burkina Faso's other major centres. Both the independent and official press have covered the Ouagadougou meeting thoroughly, in particular with interviews of leading officials of the Burkinabé Red Cross and the ICRC delegate based in Bamako.