The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has facilitated the release of 24 people detained in relation to the conflict in South Sudan.
The 16 people released on Friday October 19 is the first of such an operation supervised by ICRC, following the signing of the latest peace agreement between warring parties. Parties to the conflict agreed to free detainees.
“We facilitated the release and safe transportation of former detainees to different parts of the country with their consent,” said ICRC’s Head of Delegation in South Sudan François Stamm.
ICRC medical staff assessed detainees’ health to make sure they are fit to travel. The ICRC also facilitated several release operations earlier this year.
The Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan signed in September mentions ICRC as a facilitator for the release of people detained in relation to the conflict.
ICRC was not involved in negotiations that preceded the releases. The negotiations were initiated by a specific request by parties to the conflict.
“We offered services to all sides of the conflict and confirmed our readiness to act as a neutral facilitator for the release of detainees as requested,” said Mr Stamm.
The ICRC regularly visits detainees in places where they are being held to monitor their condition and treatment. The information is held in confidence.