The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in accordance with its mandate and acting as a neutral intermediary, handed over on Wednesday 19 members of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) who were captured on 14 February by the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).
“It will be a great moment of joy for the families to be reunited with their loved ones, and we are very happy to make this possible,” said Philippe Beauverd, head of the ICRC delegation in Bangui. “Neutrality is an important principle that we strongly adhere to because it allows us to play a vital humanitarian role.”
The prisoners, who were freed in a difficult-to-reach area in the north-east of the country, were first taken by the ICRC to Birao, in Vakaga province. They will soon arrive in Bangui by ICRC aircraft before being handed over to national authorities.
A 20th wounded soldier who had been separated from the group for medical treatment will be transferred shortly.
The ICRC reiterates its commitment to maintaining a bilateral and confidential dialogue with all parties to the conflict with a view to fully fulfilling its mandate as a neutral and impartial intermediary.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).