Bamako/Geneva (ICRC) – Fifty people detained in connection with recent clashes in Kidal have been visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The detainees, 32 of whom are being held by the High Council for the Unity of Azawad and the 18 others by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, were registered by the ICRC.
"Sleeping mats, hygiene products and other emergency relief items were distributed to the detainees," said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC delegation in Mali. "In addition, we arranged for those who had not yet been able to contact their families to call them by telephone."
Visits of this kind, which the ICRC hopes to be able to repeat in the coming days, aim to ensure that the people are held and treated humanely.
"Whatever the reasons for their detention, the physical and mental well-being of the detainees must be preserved," said Mr Luedi. "They must also be provided with water, food and health care."
The ICRC conducts regular visits in Mali to people detained in connection with the conflict. It shares its findings and recommendations with the authorities concerned through a bilateral dialogue that remains strictly confidential.