Bamako/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the humanitarian consequences of recent fighting in northern Mali. Twenty people injured in clashes in Kidal and a further three injured in demonstrations in the city of Gao are being provided with care by an ICRC medical team at Gao Regional Hospital.
"We've been informed that people left Kidal and other places because they were frightened by the fighting and by the possibility that it might spread. Some have already arrived in Gao," said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC delegation in Mali. "We are concerned for them, and we intend to do everything we can to respond swiftly to their most urgent needs."
The ICRC is also making representations to the parties concerned so as to be able to visit everyone arrested and still held in connection with the recent fighting.
"Our staff in Kidal and Gao continue to closely monitor developments and the humanitarian consequences," said Mr Luedi. "In addition, we plan to enhance the response capability of our personnel on the spot."
The ICRC draws attention to the fact that in the event of armed clashes the parties concerned are obliged to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law. In particular, they must protect the civilian population and everyone no longer involved in the fighting.