Sudan: detainees transferred under ICRC auspices
18-07-2009 News Release 09/143
Khartoum/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated the transfer today of 60 detainees to the Sudanese authorities in Kutum, North Darfur. The detainees had been held by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) following recent armed clashes.
" Although the ICRC did not participate in the negotiations, we agreed on purely humanitarian grounds, at the request of both the Sudanese authorities and the JEM, to serve as a neutral intermediary in the transfer of 55 armed forces personnel and five police personnel to the Sudanese authorities, " said Jordi Raich, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan. " The ICRC may, when requested, help parties to a conflict with practical arrangements leading to a handover of detainees. "
The detainees freed by the JEM were previously interviewed in private by the ICRC to make sure that they are being handed over of their own free will. The ICRC has a mandate to act as a neutral intermediary. Most importantly, it has the trust and confidence of the parties, which puts it in a position to help ensure the success of this complex operation.
The ICRC has been working in Darfur since 2004, where it has provided assistance for victims of the armed conflict and other violence. The organization stands ready to provide support for any similar operation in the future should the parties request it to do so.
For further information, please contact:
Saleh Dabbakeh, ICRC Khartoum, tel: +249 91 213 77 64 or +249 1 83 476 464
ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 3443