The North Caucasus and the South of Russia: January - March 2003
31-03-2003 Operational Update
ICRC Plan of Action on the North Caucasus in 2003 - January, 25, Nalchik - February, 4, Mozdok - February, 12, Moscow - January-March, Shali - Chechnya - Ingushetia - Dagestan
Representatives from Chechen television media participated in the mine awareness roundtable organised by the ICRC as part of its mine awareness programme. It is vitally important to have correct information about the daily threat from landmines and media plays key role in raising awareness about the danger. The ICRC experts and the journalists shared ideas on how to draw the public's attention to the problem and promote the appropriate behaviour in the region. The journalists are willing to make TV clips and documentaries propelling the life-saving activities and giving the warning messages. As a tool for effective mutual cooperation, such roundtables will be held on a regular basis.
" Humanity and War " exhibition opened its doors to visitors again. The exhibition shows the impact of war on human lives and highlights the principles of the Geneva conventions, the norms of International Humanitarian Law and the worldwide activities of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. The exhibition has proved successful over the last few years and travelled to Elista, Cherkessk, Stavropol, Krasnodar, Tuapse, Armavir, Vladikavkaz, Nalchik, MinVody, Budennovsk, Mozdok etc. It is especially important that the exhibition is attended by the school graduates due to join military service in the near future.
Arjan Erkel - the Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) Head of Mission in Dagestan (Russian Federation) - was kidnapped six months ago. There has since then been no news about his fate. As it has done repeatedly since his abduction, the ICRC calls for Arjan Erkel's immediate and unconditional release. Kidnapping of civilians is prohibited under international humanitarian law. Furthermore, by targeting humanitarian organizations, kidnapping has moreover proven a major constraint on aid reaching victims in Chechnya and surrounding Republics. Security in North Caucasus remains a major concern for all the humanitarian actors.
In the first quarter of 2003 the ICR C completed a rehabilitation project in Shali Regional Central Hospital. Repair works covered water supply system, general facilities unit, surgery department and operating theatre. The total cost of rehabilitation project is 60 000 USD. Shali Regional Central hospital provides care for more than 350 people.