The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it had facilitated the handover of 10 women officers and three university professors kidnapped by the insurgents recently to the Nigerian military.
The organisation in a statement issued by its Communications Coordinator, Aleksandra Matijevic Mosimann, said ICRC acted as a neutral intermediary at the request of the federal government and the insurgents in the ongoing armed conflict.
“We are so pleased that these 13 people are free and will be able to see their families again,” its deputy regional director for Africa, Patrick Youssef, said.
“The ICRC was not involved in any negotiations that led to the handover of the 13 people. The armed opposition handed the 13 people over to ICRC representatives who transported them to Nigerian authorities. This action was similar to what the ICRC did in October 2016 and May 2017, when we transported the released Chibok girls to Nigerian officials.
“There are many people missing or being held against their will due to the conflict. This creates untold trauma and suffering, including for families across the Lake Chad region that must live with the daily uncertainty and anguish of not knowing the fate or whereabouts of their loved ones. We hope that these people, too, will get to return to their families soon,” the statement read in part.
The statement added that “ICRC remains ready to provide similar humanitarian services in the future when asked by relevant parties to the conflict.”