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ICRC seeks clarification over its role in Colombia's hostage rescue
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15:23, August 15, 2008

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday demanded the Colombian government clarify that the organization did not participate in a recent dramatic hostage rescue.

Colombian soldiers rescued 15 hostages including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt from the anti-government Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on July 2 in a bloodless operation, during which fake Red Cross emblems were used.

Christopher Beney, the ICRC representative in Colombia, said he was concerned about the abusive use of Red Cross emblems, which hinders the humanitarian and neutral work of the organization.

He said the ICRC is a humanitarian, neutral and independent organization and inappropriate use of its emblems endangers ICRC officials in the region.

Beney said similar piratical cases should not happen again.

Another ICRC official in Colombia, Fernando Cardenas, said the organization was indirectly questioned by FARC on what role it played in the rescue operation.

"We got indirect messages saying that before we can continue our work it should be made clear what role we played in the July 2operation," he said.

Source:Xinhua



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