ICRC Press release No. 06/33
16 April 2006
Chad: ICRC assists wounded and detained following recent fighting
N'Djamena (ICRC) – The fighting that took place between the Chadian army and rebel forces within the city limits of the Chadian capital N'Djamena on 13 April left hundreds wounded or detained, and many more dead.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in close cooperation with the Red Cross of Chad and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, has stepped up its emergency activities in behalf of the wounded and detainees affected by the fighting.
Chadian Red Cross volunteers worked non-stop, often under very hard conditions, to help evacuate 83 wounded to the two referral hospitals in the capital. To date, the volunteers have collected and buried 55 bodies with material support from the ICRC and the International Federation. Rotating teams of volunteers are continuing to assist the hospitals, providing first aid and trauma treatment for the arriving wounded.
The ICRC swiftly reminded all parties to the conflict of their obligation to abide strictly by the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, which are fully applicable in the current context of hostilities.
The organization also contacted the authorities to make sure that it had access to all detainees and detention facilities and that the detainees and wounded received assistance and protection as needed. Shortly after the fighting stopped, the ICRC visited some 240 detainees, 80 of whom were seriously wounded. In cooperation with the defence ministry it arranged for the transfer of the wounded to the military hospital, where they received proper medical attention. The ICRC also supplied food, soap, mattresses and blankets to all the detainees it visited.
The ICRC made available medical personnel and provided technical assistance and supplies (tents, mattresses and blankets) required by the military hospital to accommodate an influx of over 350 wounded people. At the suggestion of diplomatic representatives of Cuba in Geneva, it also made arrangements for nine Cuban doctors currently in Chad to help treat patients at the two referral hospitals in N'Djamena, where additional medical expertise was urgently needed.
The ICRC has been operating in Chad since 1978, where it currently has around 100 staff including 20 expatriates.
For further information, please contact:
Anahita Kar, ICRC Chad, tel. +235 201 005
Agathe Stricker, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 78 866 2928
or visit our website: www.icrc.org/eng/news