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ICRC president visits African Union headquarters

08-11-2007 News Release 07/114

Geneva (ICRC) – Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has arrived in Addis Ababa for talks with the African Union (AU).

During his two-day visit, Mr Kellenberger will meet with the 15 members of the AU's Peace and Security Council, with Professor Alpha Oumar Konaré, chairperson of the AU Commission, with Ambassador Saïd Djinnit, commissioner for peace and security, and with Advocate Bience Gawanas, commissioner for social affairs.

The ICRC president will also take the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet, chairperson of the AU's Sub-Committee on Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons and with Mr Abdoulie Janneh, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

The talks are expected to focus mainly on the added value of neutral and independent humanitarian action in armed conflicts and on the challenge of assisting internally displaced people in conflict zones.

" My aim is to strengthen the dialogue that has developed in recent years between the two organizations, " said Mr Kellenberger. " Knowing and understanding each other better should help us to achieve our respective aims while serving the best interests of the African people. "

Mr Kellenberger also plans to stress the relevance of international humanitarian law in today's armed conflicts and discuss ways of enhancing its implementation.

  For further information, please contact:
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17