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We Were Never Involved in Negotiation for Release of Abducted Schoolgirls, Says ICRC


We Were Never Involved in Negotiation for Release of Abducted Schoolgirls, Says ICRC

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) wednesday clarified that it was not involved in the negotiations for the release of the abducted Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls by Boko Haram.

A statement by the Communications Coordinator of ICRC Nigeria, Aleksandra Mosimann noted that “recent media articles have suggested that the ICRC helps negotiate the release of abducted persons, which is incorrect.”

According to Mosimann, “as a neutral humanitarian organisation, the ICRC cannot play such a role, which would be contrary to our principle of neutrality and is outside our mandate.”

“In Nigeria, the ICRC has acted as neutral intermediary on three different occasions: after the release of Chibok girls on October 13, 2016 (21 Chibok girl and a baby); after the release of Chibok girls on May 7, 2017 (82 Chibok girls); and after the release on February 10, 2018 (10 women – relatives of the police officers – and three university professors from the University of Maiduguri),” she explained.

“The ICRC was not involved in negotiations leading to the release of any of these persons. We did not visit them prior to their release either. We transported them, upon the request of the parties involved,” she added.

Mosimann said: “The ICRC has received a mandate from the international community – Nigerian government included – to provide protection and assistance to people affected by armed conflict. Acting as neutral intermediary falls under this mandate.”

“The ICRC has also acted as neutral intermediary in cases of released persons in Sudan and Colombia and for the return of dead bodies in Sri Lanka. The ICRC’s role of a neutral intermediary is widely recognised world-wide, and an indication of trust that parties to the conflict place in the ICRC,” she added.

 THISDAY

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