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Central African Republic: Presidential spokesman released to ICRC

02-12-2002 News Release 02/74

Geneva (ICRC) – Mr Prosper Ndouba, spokesman for the president of the Central African Republic, was released today to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) following an agreement between the parties.

Acting as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC returned Mr Ndouba to his home. He was detained over a month ago by rebels as they withdrew from the northern neighborhoods of the capital Bangui at the outset of the conflict. He had been held in the north of the country since.

The ICRC is very pleased at this outcome and takes this opportunity to remind all the parties involved of their duties and obligations toward persons protected by international humanitarian law, be they civilians, sick or wounded combatants, or detainees.

The ICRC reiterates that it stands ready to take independent, impartial, neutral and humanitarian action to protect and assist all persons affected by the conflict.

During a tour of rebel-held territory north of Bangui, during which they visited Damara, Sibut and Kaga Bandoro, ICRC delegates spoke with civilians hard hit by the fighting and provided local health-care facilities with emergency medical supplies.

Accompanied by volunteers from the Central African Red Cross Society, delegates also went last Friday to Bossembélé (in government-held territory) to assess the needs of the civilian population in the wake of clashes that took place in the town 10 days ago. Basic non-food aid was distributed to some 30 families whose houses had been damaged or destroyed.

 Further information:  

 Peter Fluege, ICRC Bangui, tel. ++236 611 174  

 Zoran Jovanovic, ICRC Yaoundé, tel. ++237 223 94 25 or ++237 991 46 77