Two staff members from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were abducted on 4 March 2023 on the road between Gao and Kidal in northern Mali have been unconditionally released. Both are safe and well.
“We are incredibly relieved that our colleagues are back with us. They will be reunited with their families as soon as possible,” said Antoine Grand, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Mali. “We are grateful to everyone who has worked so hard from the outset to facilitate their unconditional and swift release.”
The ICRC is not disclosing the names or nationalities of the two staff members, who were released on Sunday 19 March, in order to protect their privacy. We are not able to provide any detail about the abduction, captivity or release of our staff.
The ICRC is a strictly impartial, neutral and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate. Our staff must always be respected and protected. Acts such as this jeopardize our humanitarian work and can have a significant impact on the humanitarian services we provide to vulnerable communities affected by conflict.
“We will continue our humanitarian activities working closely with the people affected by the conflict and violence in Mali while also ensuring our staff members are able to operate safely in a region where many people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance,” said Patrick Youssef, the ICRC’s regional director for Africa.
The ICRC has been present in Mali for 32 years. Our operations in the country are managed through our delegation in Bamako, our sub delegations in Mopti, Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, and our office in Menaka.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).