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Guinea: Coping with the tragic consequences of violence

24-01-2007 News Release 07/09

Geneva/Conakry (ICRC) – With the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Red Cross Society of Guinea has launched a major operation to provide first aid for victims of the violence in the country.

Over 600 volunteer first-aid workers have been assembled in Conakry and throughout the country.

The ICRC has supplied the Guinean Red Cross with more than 30 first-aid kits and basic items such as sleeping mats, blankets and jerrycans. Through its offices in Conakry and Nzérékoré, it has also provided radios, vehicles, fuel and meals for the volunteers.

Conakry, like most large cities in the country, has suffered many casualties and significant property losses. On 22 January the ICRC provided six vehicles to take wounded people to Donka Hospital in Conakry, where 119 patients were admitted, most of them with bullet wounds. The ICRC gave the hospital a surgical kit for treating up to 150 gunshot victims.

A provisional total of more than 370 injured persons have been treated by the National Society since violence broke out in connection with the general strike that began on 10 January. The most serious cases were taken to hospital. The Society has also recorded 35 deaths, including 24 in Conakry on 22 January alone. “We are very concerned about the loss of life and other tragic consequences of the violence,” said Georg Cunz, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Guinea. “We call on everyone concerned to exercise restraint.”

The ICRC has been conducting regular reviews of the capacity of Conakry’s medical facilities to deal with the situation. It has also been providing material and financial support for the Red Cross Society of Guinea, which has people on the ground in all 33 national prefectures. The skill and high standards of the National Society volunteers have been commended by one and all.

For further information, please contact:
  Georg Cunz, ICRC Conakry, tel. +224 6444 9834
  Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 22 71