ICRC says aid workers missing in Mali

2014-02-10 22:02
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday that one of its teams was missing in strife-torn northern Mali, but it was not clear whether they had been kidnapped.

"We can confirm that the ICRC lost contact with one of its vehicles, with five people on board," ICRC spokesperson Alexis Heeb told AFP.

The four ICRC staff members and a veterinarian from another aid organisation, went missing on Saturday along with their vehicle on the road between the towns of Kidal and Gao, Heeb said.

All five individuals are Malian citizens.

"We don't know the reason for the vehicle going missing. It could be anything," Heeb said.

"At this stage we're exploring all possibilities. We're extremely worried and we're contacting everyone to try to localise them," he added.

He underlined that the ICRC was in any case in regular contact with the authorities as well as various armed groups operating in Mali.

For security reasons, ICRC teams make regular contact every few hours with their base when they are on mission, and the team had done so for part of its journey.

"They were on the way from Kidal to their base in Gao. We don't know yet in what circumstances contact was lost," said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC Mali delegation, in a statement.

"It's important not to speculate about what might have happened, although no possibility has been ruled out," he added.

Respect

But Luedi issued what appeared to be an appeal to potential kidnappers.

"We're calling for our personnel to be treated with respect so that they can perform their tasks," he said.

ICRC operations in Mali range from visiting people detained during the country's conflict to providing aid to the hundreds of thousands of people who were driven from their homes by fighting.

Mali descended into chaos when Tuareg rebels and Islamist groups took over the north after a military coup in March 2012 far to the south in the capital Bamako.

The humanitarian crisis sparked by the conflict came on top of years of drought in the Sahel region that have left 800 000 Malians relying on food aid.

The rebels started an advance on Bamako that led to a military intervention by former colonial power France in January 2013.

French troops pushed al-Qaeda-linked militants out of northern towns early last year and have kept up operations against residual groups of insurgents.

France is winding down its force from a peak of around 5 000 soldiers but is to keep 1 000 troops in Mali beyond the spring.

The UN peacekeepers took over security in July last year from a pan-African military mission which had been supporting the French troops.

The UN mission played a key security role in presidential polls last year which saw former premier Ibrahim Boubacar Keita become the country's first democratically elected leader since the 2012 coup.

Last month, five UN peacekeepers were injured when their vehicle ran over a landmine in Kidal.

Read more on:    icrc  |  mali  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.