Central African Republic: ICRC president visits Bangui and north-east of country
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), arrived this morning in the Central African Republic, where violence is continuing unabated. He intends to see for himself how the situation is developing in the country, where the ICRC is strengthening its activities. The armed conflict and the unprecedented intercommunal violence of recent months have resulted in a catastrophic humanitarian situation. Countless families are grieving, or are without news of their loved ones who have gone to other parts of the country or to neighbouring countries to escape the violence. The people who are displaced lack everything, and those who have already returned to their homes have lost everything.
A press conference to mark the end of Mr Maurer's visit to the Central African Republic will be held on Friday 28 March at 8.30 a.m. at the Ledger Plaza Hotel, Avenue de l'Indépendance de la République Centrafricaine, Bangui (contact: Germain Mwehu, ICRC Bangui, tel: +236 75 64 30 07). A news release will also be issued.
Photos and video footage will also be available (contact: Marie-Servane Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 574 06 36, Twitter @MsdjkrICRC).
Throughout the week, photos and statements will be published on ICRC Twitter accounts, Facebook and on the ICRC website.
Over the next three days, Mr Maurer will meet people who have directly experienced violence or other effects of the conflict. He will also have talks in Bangui with representatives of the national authorities, the French army, the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), and the United Nations. In addition, the ICRC president will meet with the leadership and volunteers of the Central African Red Cross Society, the ICRC's main partner in the country, which has saved the lives of thousands of injured people and given a proper burial to hundreds of bodies.
The Central African Republic is the site of one of the ICRC's largest operations in the world. Nearly 400 staff in the country are caring for injured people, visiting detainees, distributing food and other basic necessities, restoring the water supply, and helping to re-establish contact between family members dispersed by conflict. Together with its partners within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the ICRC is also bringing aid to people who have fled violence to take refuge in Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.