Syria: Humanitarian Aid Reaches Eastern Ghouta – Published 05 Mar 2018 1522z (GMT/UTC)

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ICRC Syria entering Eastern Ghouta with @SYRedCrescent and @UN. (Image @ICRC_sy)

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and humanitarian partners delivered 46 truckloads of food relief aid for 27,500 people and health items for more than 70,000 people inside Duma in eastern Ghouta.

The convoy included aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations, and SARC. The truckloads included food baskets, flour, medical supplies, a kidney treatment facility, baby milk and nutritional foods.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent included a mobile clinic to support SARC’s medical facilities functioning in Duma, and to provide rapid primary healthcare to children and vulnerable people.

Eng. Khaled Hboubati, SARC’s President said: “SARC volunteers and staff stand ready 24/7 to deliver humanitarian support to all people in need in Syria”. He added, “this convoy to Duma/Eastern Ghouta is the first one as approved by the humanitarian aid monthly plan of the Syrian High Relief Committee”.

The last convoy entered Eastern Ghouta on Feb 14th, 2018. – SARC

(Images below: SARC)

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Syria: ICRC call for immediate protection of International Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers after two more Red Crescent volunteers killed in Homs – 280813 1510z

(Scroll down for Arabic translation)

(انتقل لأسفل للترجمة العربية)

28-08-2013 ICRC Statement

IFRC / SARC / ICRC – Geneva / Damascus –

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement deplores the death of Wassim Mouselli and Yousef Al Kens both of whom were working at the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s branch of Homs.

Wassim and Yousef died on the 27th of August as a result of a mortar shell that landed in front of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s branch in Homs. A number of civilians among which children were also killed in this tragic incident.

With the death of Wassim and Yousef, the total number of  Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers who have lost their lives since the beginning of this conflict has risen to 22 , all of them killed while carrying out their humanitarian duties. While both Wassim and Yousef were not deliberately targeted, other volunteers have been deliberately targeted in the past in spite of their clear affiliation with the movement.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) together call for the immediate protection of staff and volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and all other personnel of the Movement risking their lives on a daily basis to provide life saving assistance. It is imperative that they be given the space necessary to operate and carry out their humanitarian mandate.

END

The Words of the SARC President Dr. Abdul Rahman Attar (Written before this current incident in Homs)

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers are carrying SARC’s emblem..” (A Red Crescent on a white background) “..on their chests and forgetting their names while confronting danger, penetrating the walls of pain and fear, while planting hope and reassurance, with all sense of responsibility and far away from consideration, but with full impartiality and neutrality.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent is a humanitarian organization, voluntary, elected, non-profitable, with its own prestigious character, and has its own financial and administrative independence, founded in 1942 and was recognized by the International Movement of 1946.

Since the founding of this organization it has played a significant role in responding to crises experienced in the region, and it has provided assistance to our brothers, the Iraqis, the Lebanese and the Palestinians, and during the current crisis in Syria, it has responded to the humanitarian situation in collaboration with its partners inside and outside Syria.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent provided, by responding to the current situation, a number of martyrs and wounded volunteers and staff while performing their humanitarian duty, I can only ask for mercy for those martyrs, and gratitude for the noble humanitarian work that they have done keeping across Syria.

In conclusion I reiterate my gratitude and appreciation for all those volunteers in the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, who have played the most important and prominent role in the current circumstances that prevailed in the country to provide a helping hand to those affected and to save the lives of wounded, and as for me, I will not be the one who will thank them, but the Syrians are the ones who will remember them and talk about their noble work.” – Dr. Abdul Rahman Attar

Videos

Syria Crisis: the reality facing volunteers part 1

(Video credit: BritishRedCross)

Published on Mar 22, 2013

This video features Dr. Mohamed Noor Al Nassan, a Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer. He is the healthcare coordinator in the Homs branch.

Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers are risking their own lives to provide a lifeline for anyone in caught up in the conflict.

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal: http://bit.ly/164QHko

The British Red Cross is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee, which brings together 14 leading UK aid charities in times of crisis.

Syria Crisis: the reality facing volunteers part 2

(Video credit: BritishRedCross)

Published on Apr 12, 2013

Syrian Arab Red crescent – Homs Branch in Action (Old video – 2011 – but still informative)

(Video credit: HosamRC)

Uploaded on Dec 5, 2011

Related:

News stories about the Red Cross on Goaty’s News

Arabic (Translated by Google)

سوريا: دعوة اللجنة الدولية لحماية فورية من الدولية للصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر الموظفين والمتطوعين بعد اثنين من أكثر متطوعو الهلال الأحمر قتلوا في حمص 280813 

28-08-2013 بيان اللجنة الدولية

الهلال / الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري / اللجنة الدولية – جنيف / دمشق –
حركة الهلال الأحمر الدولية للصليب الأحمر وتستنكر وفاة وسيم موصللي ويوسف الإدراك اللذين كانوا يعملون في فرع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري في حمص.
توفي وسيم ويوسف على 27 أغسطس نتيجة قذيفة هاون سقطت أمام فرع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري في حمص. وهناك عدد من المدنيين بينهم أطفال وقتل ايضا في هذا الحادث المأساوي.

مع وفاة وسيم ويوسف، وارتفع العدد الإجمالي للمتطوعين الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري الذين فقدوا حياتهم منذ بداية هذا الصراع إلى 22، وجميعهم من قتل أثناء قيامه بواجباته الإنسانية. في حين أن كلا سيم ويوسف لم تكن مستهدفة عمدا، وقد استهدف متطوعين آخرين عمدا في الماضي على الرغم من انتمائهم واضح مع الحركة.

منظمة الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري واللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر (اللجنة الدولية) والاتحاد الدولي لجمعيات الهلال الأحمر والصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر معا ندعو إلى توفير الحماية الفورية للموظفين ومتطوعين من الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري وجميع الموظفين الآخرين حركة يخاطرون بحياتهم على أساس يومي لتقديم المساعدة المنقذة للحياة. ومن الضروري أن يتم إعطاء المساحة اللازمة لتشغيل وتنفيذ مهامها الإنسانية.

END

كلام الرئيس الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري الدكتور عبد الرحمن العطار (كتب قبل هذه الحادثة الحالي في حمص)

“إن متطوعي الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري تحمل شعار الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري في ..” (A الهلال الأحمر على خلفية بيضاء) “.. على صدورهم ونسيان أسمائهم في حين تواجه الخطر، اختراق الجدران من الألم والخوف، في حين زرع الأمل والطمأنينة، مع كل إحساس بالمسؤولية وبعيدا عن النظر، ولكن مع الحياد الكامل والحياد.

منظمة الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري هو منظمة إنسانية، طوعية، المنتخبين، غير ربحية، مع طابعها المرموقة الخاصة، ولها استقلالها المالي والإداري، التي تأسست في عام 1942 واعترفت بها الحركة الدولية لعام 1946.

منذ تأسيس هذه المنظمة أنها لعبت دورا هاما في الاستجابة للأزمات التي تواجهها المنطقة، وقدم مساعدة لإخواننا، والعراقيين واللبنانيين والفلسطينيين، وخلال الأزمة الحالية في سوريا، التي استجاب بها إلى الحالة الإنسانية بالتعاون مع شركائها داخل سوريا وخارجها.

قدم الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري، من خلال الاستجابة إلى الوضع الراهن، فإن عددا من الشهداء والجرحى المتطوعين والموظفين أثناء أداء واجبها الإنساني، ويمكنني أن أسأل فقط للرحمة لأولئك الشهداء، وامتنانه للعمل الإنساني النبيل الذي قاموا به حفظ عبر سوريا.

وفي الختام أكرر شكري وتقديري لجميع أولئك المتطوعين في الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري، الذين لعبوا دور أهم وأبرز في ظل الظروف الراهنة التي كانت سائدة في البلاد لتقديم يد العون للمتضررين وإنقاذ الأرواح من الجرحى، وأما بالنسبة لي، وأنا لن يكون الشخص الذي سوف نشكرهم، ولكن السوريين هم الذين سوف نتذكرهم والتحدث عن عملهم النبيل “- الدكتور عبد الرحمن العطار
فيديو
سوريا الأزمة: واقع تواجه المتطوعين جزء 1

(الائتمان فيديو: BritishRedCross)

نشرت يوم 22 مارس 2013

يتميز هذا الفيديو الدكتور محمد نور النعسان، متطوع في الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري. وقال انه هو منسق الرعاية الصحية في فرع حمص.

متطوعو الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري يخاطرون بحياتهم لتوفير شريان الحياة لأي شخص في المحاصرين في الصراع.

التبرع لسوريا أزمة الاستئناف: http://bit.ly/164QHko

الصليب الأحمر البريطاني هو عضو في لجنة الطوارئ الكوارث، التي تجمع 14 الرائدة الجمعيات الخيرية مساعدات المملكة المتحدة في أوقات الأزمات.

سوريا الأزمة: واقع تواجه المتطوعين جزء 2

(الائتمان فيديو: BritishRedCross)

نشرت يوم 12 أبريل 2013
الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري – فرع حمص في العمل (فيديو قديم – 2011 – ولكن لا يزال الإعلامية)

(الائتمان فيديو: HosamRC)

حملت في 5 ديسمبر 2011
المتصلة:

الأنباء التي تتحدث عن الصليب الأحمر على أخبار Goaty لل

Syria: Military action – US “ready to go”, UK drawing up plans, recalls Parliament. France ‘Ready To Punish’ – 270813 1700z

(Scroll down for Arabic translation) (انتقل لأسفل للترجمة العربية)

Syria: US Says Military Is Ready For Action

The West edges closer to military action in Syria as the Assad regime insists it will use “all means” to defend itself.

SKY NEWS  3:55pm UK (1455Z GMT/UTC), Tuesday 27 August 2013

“The US defence secretary says his country is “ready to go” if President Barack Obama orders action in Syria, as the UK recalls Parliament over the crisis.

Britain’s Armed Forces are drawing up plans for a potential military intervention in response to an alleged toxic gas attack in Damascus, which is believed to have killed hundreds of civilians.

Rebels in Syria have also handed Western powers a list of suggested targets for a strike, according to a Reuters source.

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel said Mr Obama asked the Pentagon to give him “all options for all contingencies”.

David Cameron Returns Early From Holiday To Deal With The Escalating Syrian Crisis
Mr Cameron says the Syrian attack was “absolutely abhorrent”

“We are prepared. We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfil and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take,” Mr Hagel told the BBC.

US secretary of state John Kerry said there was “undeniable” evidence of a large-scale chemical attack, with intelligence strongly pointing to President Bashar Assad’s government.

And he said the regime would be held accountable.

France’s President Francois Hollande said his country was prepared to “punish” those who gassed innocent people last Wednesday and it seemed certain that forces loyal to Mr Assad were behind the attack.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who is back in London after cutting short his family holiday, says a clear motion on the crisis will be put before MPs on Thursday.

Chuck Hagel
Mr Hagel says the US is “ready to go”

He wrote on Twitter: “Speaker agrees my request to recall Parliament on Thurs. There’ll be a clear Govt motion & vote on UK response to chemical weapons attacks.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague has declined to rule out action, such as targeted air strikes, being launched within days.

But Mr Cameron – who is holding a National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Wednesday – is under pressure to be able to legally justify any intervention.

A build-up of military aircraft at Britain’s base on Cyprus, RAF Akrotiri, suggested that planning had reached a developed stage.

Sky’s Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall said any potential action “would be a punch on the nose for the Assad regime. I don’t think the US is ready for Assad to go because they are frightened of who would take his place.”

But Syria insists it will not submit quietly to an attack.

Syrian foreign minister
Mr Muallem says any foreign strike on his country would be “delusional”

“We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal,” said Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem.

“The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves.”

Mr Muallem also claims Tuesday’s UN inspections of alleged chemical attack sites had to be scrapped because of disputes between rebels.

Snipers shot at the UN team on Monday, but the inspectors still managed to collect some “valuable” samples.

RAF Akrotiri
One of Britain’s bases, RAF Akrotiri, is in southern Cyprus

The UN inspections will take place on Wednesday instead, Mr Muallem said.

Syria denies using the chemical weapons and Russia – which supplies arms to Syria and is the regime’s most powerful ally – has backed claims that video footage of victims could be opposition propaganda.

“I challenge those who accuse our forces of using these weapons to come forward with the evidence,” Mr Muallem said.

The Arab League has accused the Syrian regime of carrying out the suspected gas attack and Saudi Arabia has called for “firm and serious” action against the state.

The US postponed a Syrian crisis meeting with Russia that was scheduled for this week because of America’s ongoing review of the attack.

SYRIA-CONFLICT-UN
Snipers shot at UN inspectors on Monday

Russia said postponing The Hague meeting was a “serious disappointment”. Moscow also warned that any use of force against Syria would have “catastrophic consequences”.

“We call on our American colleagues and all members of the international community to show prudence, strict observance of international law, and above all, the fundamental principles of the UN Charter,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

And deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin claimed western countries are behaving in the Islamic world like a “monkey with a grenade”.

Russia’s emergencies ministry has told Sky News that it is sending a plane to Syria today to take in humanitarian aid and is planning to bring around 150 of its citizens out.

It is unclear whether Obama would seek authority from the UN or Congress before using force. But it is likely Russia and China would block US efforts to authorise action through the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, wary investors have exited world markets because of the talk of potential military intervention.

They moved towards safe havens such as gold and bonds while the uncertainty has driven oil prices to a six-month high.” – SKY NEWS

END

France ‘Ready To Punish’ Syria Over Gas Attack

huffingtonpost.com  08/27/13 12:22 PM ET EDT AP

france syria

French President Francois Hollande waves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

“PARIS — French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that his country is prepared to take action against those responsible for gassing people in Syria.

“France is ready to punish those who took the heinous decision to gas innocents” in Syria last week, Hollande said at a conference with France’s ambassadors. He did not elaborate.

“I have decided to increase our military support to the National Syrian Coalition,” the main Syrian opposition group in exile, he also said.

France, one of Europe’s biggest military powers, has not specified what preparation it is taking for any possible international action against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

But on Monday Hollande said time is running out for the Syrian regime and airstrikes are a possibility. “Everything will come into play this week,” he told Le Parisien newspaper. “There are several options on the table, ranging from strengthening international sanctions to airstrikes to arming the rebels.

Hollande spoke with President Barack Obama on Sunday and told him France, like Britain, would support him in a targeted military intervention, according to the paper.” – huffingtonpost.com

Syria: Breakdown of services increases suffering – International Red Cross/ Red Crescent (ICRC)

26-08-2013 Operational Update

“In violence-stricken areas, the breakdown of essential services is adding to the woes of hundreds of thousands of people.

“This is not a life worth living,” said Bilal, a resident of Rural Damascus. “Together with dozens of other families, we’re crowded into an unfinished building shell without electricity or water. Even if the shelling around us were to stop, there would still be the heat, the flies buzzing over our heads and the stench of the garbage outside.”

Areas plagued by heavy fighting, including Rural Damascus, eastern parts of Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and the governorate of Raqqa, are enduring breakdowns of essential services such as the supply of electricity and water and the collection of garbage.

“Many water stations have been damaged and can no longer supply the communities that depend on them,” said Jean-Marc Burri, in charge of the ICRC’s water and sanitation activities in Syria. “Furthermore, waste management services, including the collection of garbage, have become almost non-existent in some areas where fighting has been taking place, or only continue to be performed through the efforts of the people living there.”

“The failure to remove refuse for lengthy periods of time could have a serious impact on the well-being of entire communities,” he said. “Piles of garbage are ideal breeding grounds for disease and parasites.”

To help ward off any public health catastrophe, the ICRC launched a number of projects aimed at improving overall sanitary conditions. “We’re trying to improve, as far as possible, the conditions in which people affected by the fighting have to live,” said Mr Burri.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, garbage in Aleppo’s Jisr Al-Haj area was collected and disposed of over the past couple of weeks. In addition, insecticides were sprayed in Aleppo and Idlib to help control parasites. Furthermore, ICRC engineers worked together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and local water boards to carry out emergency repairs in areas of heavy fighting to ensure the availability of clean potable water.

Since the beginning of August, in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the ICRC has also:

  • provided local water boards in Rural Damascus, Damascus, Aleppo, Lattakia, Sweida, al-Hassakeh, Deir Ezzor, Tartous, Homs and Idlib with technical expertise, equipment and supplies, including pumps and generators;
  • continued to upgrade water, housing and sanitary facilities at more than 45 public sites in eight governorates where displaced people are living, while completing work at another 14 sites in three governorates.

The ICRC’s health department has:

  • assessed two hospitals in Hama to which it donated surgical supplies for the full treatment of 100 seriously injured patients;
  • provided the Syrian Arab Red Crescent branch in Hama with medical assistance, including chronic disease medication for the treatment of 450 patients;
  • supplied the Syrian Arab Red Crescent with medications for 2,500 children.

The ICRC’s relief department has:

  • supplied food parcels for some 260,000 people in Deir Ezzor, Hama, Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Lattakia, Homs, Idlib and Damascus governorates;
  • provided mattresses and blankets for 60,000 people in Rural Damascus, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Deir Ezzor and Damascus;
  • supplied kitchen sets (cooking pots, plates, cups and cutlery) for more than 30,000 people in Hama, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Lattakia and Damascus;
  • supplied hygiene items (shampoos, soaps, washing detergents, female hygiene items, etc.) to some 70,000 people in Hama, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Rural Damascus and Lattakia.” – ICRC

Videos

Chuck Hagel: U.S. Ready If Order Given to Strike Syria

(Video credit: Bloomberg)

Published on Aug 27, 2013

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) — Bloomberg News’ Julianna Goldman and Contributing Editor Richard Falkenrath discuss comments from U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the U.S. military is ready to strike if an order is given by the U.S. government against Syria. They speak on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.”

Syria: US Says Military is Ready For Action – US Ready To Launch Syria Strike

(Video credit: Syria News Today)

Military action in Syria: US and allies close to a decision

(Video credit: Euronews)

Published on Aug 27, 2013

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem has announced that the second day of the UN weapons…euronews, the most watched news channel in EuropeSubscribe for your daily dose of international news, curated and explained:http://eurone.ws/10ZCK4aEuronews is available in 13 other languages: http://eurone.ws/17moBCUhttp://www.euronews.com/2013/08/27/us…Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem has announced that the second day of the UN weapons inspectors’ probe into alleged chemical weapon strikes in Damascus has been postponed.Moualem told US Secretary of State John Kerry that the government was not obstructing the work but that there had been disagreements among the rebels over security arrangements. Moualem said the army would press on with its military campaign despite the threat of possible foreign strikes. He addeded that any strikes on Syria would serve the interests of Al-Qaeda linked groups. The international community, facing a deadlocked UN Security Council, is looking at other means to legitimise a military strike on Syria. The 15-nation council has been in limbo since the uprising against the Assad regime began in 2011.Both Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions calling for firm action against Damascus.In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron recalled parliament from its summer break, it will meet on Thursday to discuss the response to the situation in Syria. The US has intervened in conflicts before without UN backing, notably in Kosovo in 1999, and may well do again as President Obama seeks a so-called “coalition of the willing”.Any attacks on Syria backed by Britain, France and Turkey, to name but a few, will anger Moscow – an ally of Assad.The US believes the allegations that Assad used chemical weapons are true, something Syria denies. Speaking in Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry adopted a tough tone: “The meaning of this attack goes beyond the conflict in Syria itself and that conflict has already brought so much terrible suffering. This is about the large scale indiscriminate use of weapons that the civilised world long ago decided must never be used at all – a conviction shared even by countries that agree on little else.”As the diplomacy continued the bloody conflict went on with death whether by chemical or conventional weapons a daily occurrence.

 

Related:

Syria: Chemical attack inspectors find ‘valuable evidence’ despite coming under sniper fire; UK & US mull military action – 260813 2000z

Arabic (Translated by Google)

 

سوريا: العمل العسكري الولايات المتحدة “مستعدة للذهاب”، UK وضع الخطط، تشير البرلمان. فرنسا جاهز لمعاقبة‘ – 270813 1700z

سوريا: الولايات المتحدة تقول إن الجيش على استعداد للعمل
الحواف الغربية أقرب إلى عمل عسكري في سوريا كما نظام الأسد تصر على أنها ستستخدم “كل الوسائل” للدفاع عن نفسها.

SKY NEWS 15:55 المملكة المتحدة (GMT 1455Z / UTC) الثلاثاء 27 أغسطس 2013

“يقول وزير الدفاع الأمريكي ان بلاده” مستعدة للذهاب “اذا كان الرئيس باراك أوباما أوامر العمل في سوريا، كما في المملكة المتحدة تشير البرلمان بشأن الازمة.

هي قوات المسلحة البريطانية وضع خطط لتدخل عسكري محتمل ردا على هجوم الغازات السامة المزعومة في دمشق، والذي يعتقد أنه قتل المئات من المدنيين.

وسلمت الثوار في سوريا أيضا القوى الغربية على قائمة الأهداف المقترحة للإضراب، وفقا لمصدر لرويترز.

وقال وزير الدفاع الاميركي تشاك هيغل طلب أوباما البنتاغون أن يعطيه “كل الخيارات لجميع الحالات الطارئة”.
ديفيد كاميرون إرجاع المبكر من عطلة للتعامل مع الأزمة السورية المتصاعدة
يقول كاميرون الهجوم السوري كان “البغيضة على الاطلاق”

“، ونحن مستعدون. لقد انتقلنا الموجودات في المكان المناسب ليكون قادرا على الوفاء والالتزام بها أيا كان الخيار يود الرئيس إلى اتخاذ” قال هاجل لهيئة الاذاعة البريطانية.

قالت وزيرة الخارجية الامريكي جون كيري ان هناك ادلة “لا يمكن إنكارها” من هجوم كيماوي على نطاق واسع، مع المخابرات لافتا بشدة لحكومة الرئيس بشار الأسد.

وقال انه سيتم عقد نظام للمساءلة.

وقال الرئيس الفرنسي فرانسوا هولاند ان بلاده مستعدة “لمعاقبة” أولئك الذين بالغاز الأبرياء يوم الأربعاء الماضي، ويبدو أن بعض القوات الموالية للسيد الأسد كانوا وراء الهجوم.

رئيس الوزراء البريطاني ديفيد كاميرون، الذي عاد في لندن بعد أن قطع عطلة قصيرة عائلته، ويقول سيتم وضع الحركة واضحة بشأن الأزمة قبل النواب يوم الخميس.
تشاك هيغل
يقول هيغل الولايات المتحدة “مستعدة للذهاب”

وقال انه كتب على تويتر: “رئيس يوافق على طلبي أن أذكر البرلمان في الخميس سوف يكون هناك واضحة الحركة والحكومة التصويت على استجابة المملكة المتحدة لهجمات الأسلحة الكيميائية”.

وقد رفض وزير الخارجية وليام هيغ استبعاد العمل، مثل الضربات الجوية استهدفت، التي يتم إطلاقها في غضون أيام.

لكن كاميرون – الذي عقد مجلس الأمن القومي (NSC) اجتماعه يوم الأربعاء – تتعرض لضغوط لتكون قادرة على تبرير قانونيا أي تدخل.

تراكم من طائرات عسكرية في قاعدة بريطانيا على قبرص، RAF أكروتيري، واقترح أن التخطيط قد وصلت إلى مرحلة متطورة.

قال السماء الشؤون الخارجية محرر تيم مارشال أي عمل محتمل “سيكون لكمة على أنفه لنظام الأسد، وأنا لا أعتقد أن الولايات المتحدة مستعدة للاسد ​​للذهاب لأنهم خائفون من الذي سيأخذ مكانه.”

لكن سوريا تصر على أنها لن تقدم بهدوء لهجوم.
وزير الخارجية السوري
يقول السيد المعلم أن أي ضربة الأجنبية على بلاده أن تكون “الوهمية”

“: إما الاستسلام، أو للدفاع عن أنفسنا مع الوسائل التي في حوزتنا لدينا خيارين” قال وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم.

“الخيار الثاني هو الأفضل: سندافع عن أنفسنا.”

يدعي السيد المعلم أيضا كان التفتيش للمواقع المزعومة هجوم كيماوي يوم الثلاثاء ليتم تفكيكها بسبب الخلافات بين المتمردين.

القناصة النار على فريق الامم المتحدة يوم الاثنين، ولكن المفتشين تمكنوا من جمع بعض العينات “قيمة”.
RAF أكروتيري
واحدة من القواعد البريطانية، RAF أكروتيري، هو في جنوب قبرص

وقال السيد المعلم وعمليات التفتيش للامم المتحدة سيعقد يوم الاربعاء بدلا من ذلك.

وتنفي سوريا باستخدام الأسلحة الكيميائية وروسيا – التي تمد الأسلحة إلى سوريا وحليف للنظام أقوى – وأيدت مزاعم بأن لقطات الفيديو من الضحايا يمكن أن يكون دعاية المعارضة.

“، وأنا أتحدى أولئك الذين يتهمون قواتنا من استخدام هذه الأسلحة على المضي قدما مع الأدلة”، وقال السيد المعلم.

واتهمت الجامعة العربية النظام السوري بتنفيذ الهجوم الغاز المشتبه بهم ودعت المملكة العربية السعودية إلى اتخاذ إجراءات “حازمة وجادة” ضد الدولة.

أجلت الولايات المتحدة اجتماعا الأزمة السورية مع روسيا التي كانت مقررة لهذا الاسبوع بسبب الاستعراض أميركا الجارية للهجوم.
SYRIA انتهاء الصراع الأمم المتحدة
القناصة النار على مفتشي الامم المتحدة يوم الاثنين

وقالت روسيا تأجيل اجتماع لاهاي كان “خيبة أمل خطيرة”. حذرت موسكو أيضا أن أي استخدام للقوة ضد سوريا سيكون له “عواقب كارثية”.

“،، ونحن ندعو زملائنا الامريكيين وجميع أعضاء المجتمع الدولي لإظهار الحكمة، والتقيد الصارم للقانون الدولي، وقبل كل شيء المبادئ الأساسية لميثاق الأمم المتحدة” قالت وزارة الخارجية الروسية.

وادعى نائب رئيس الوزراء الروسي ديمتري روجوزين يتصرفون الدول الغربية في العالم الإسلامي مثل “قرد بقنبلة”.

وقال وزارة حالات الطوارئ في روسيا سكاي نيوز أنه تم إرسال طائرة إلى سوريا اليوم لتأخذ في المساعدات الإنسانية وتخطط لجلب حوالي 150 من المواطنين للخروج.

ومن غير الواضح ما إذا كان أوباما سيسعى للحصول على السلطة من الأمم المتحدة أو الكونغرس قبل استخدام القوة. ولكن من المرجح ان روسيا والصين عرقلة جهود الولايات المتحدة أن تأذن بالعمل من خلال مجلس الأمن الدولي.

في هذه الأثناء، خرجت المستثمرين حذرين الأسواق العالمية بسبب الحديث عن تدخل عسكري محتمل.

انتقلوا نحو الملاذات الآمنة مثل الذهب والسندات في حين أن عدم اليقين الذي دفع أسعار النفط الى أعلى مستوى في ستة أشهر “- NEWS SKY

قصص ذات الصلة
تحليل: سوريا والأخلاق وشريعة الغاب
سوريا: UK يرسم خطط لعمل عسكري

END
فرنسا ‘جاهز لمعاقبة “سوريا بسبب هجوم بالغاز

huffingtonpost.com 08/27/13 00:22 PM بتوقيت شرق الولايات المتحدة ET AP
فرنسا سوريا
الرئيس الفرنسي فرانسوا هولاند موجات عقب الاجتماع الاسبوعي لمجلس الوزراء في قصر الاليزيه في باريس الجمعة 2 أغسطس، 2013. (ا ف ب الصور / جاك Brinon)

“باريس – قال الرئيس الفرنسي فرانسوا هولاند الثلاثاء ان بلاده على استعداد لاتخاذ إجراءات ضد المسؤولين عن القتل بالغاز الناس في سوريا.

وقال هولاند في مؤتمر مع سفراء فرنسا “فرنسا مستعدة لمعاقبة أولئك الذين اتخذوا القرار البشعة إلى الأبرياء الغاز” في سوريا الاسبوع الماضي. ولم يوضح.

وقال “لقد قررت زيادة الدعم العسكري لدينا للائتلاف الوطني السوري”، وقال أيضا جماعة المعارضة السورية الرئيسية في المنفى.

فرنسا، واحدة من أكبر القوى العسكرية في أوروبا، لم يحدد ما إعداد انها تتخذ أية إجراءات دولية محتملة ضد نظام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد.

لكن يوم الاثنين قال هولاند الوقت ينفد بالنسبة للنظام السوري والغارات الجوية هي الاحتمال. “، وسوف يأتي كل شيء في اللعب هذا الأسبوع” قال لصحيفة لو باريزيان. وقال “هناك العديد من الخيارات مطروحة على الطاولة، بدءا من تعزيز العقوبات الدولية على الضربات الجوية لتسليح المتمردين.

وتحدث هولاند مع الرئيس باراك أوباما يوم الاحد وقال له فرنسا، مثل بريطانيا، ودعم له في التدخل العسكري المستهدفة، وفقا للصحيفة “-. huffingtonpost.com
سوريا: توزيع الخدمات يزيد من معاناة – الصليب الأحمر / الهلال الأحمر الدولية (ICRC)

26-08-2013 عرض لأنشطة

“العنف في المناطق المنكوبة، وانهيار الخدمات الأساسية وإضافة إلى ويلات مئات الآلاف من الناس.

“هذه ليست حياة تستحق العيش”، وقال بلال، وهو من سكان ريف دمشق. “جنبا إلى جنب مع عشرات من أسر أخرى، ونحن مزدحمة في قذيفة مبنى غير منجز دون كهرباء أو ماء. حتى لو كان القصف من حولنا كانت لوقف، ستظل هناك الحرارة، والذباب يطن فوق رؤوسنا والرائحة الكريهة لل القمامة خارج “.

المناطق التي تعاني من القتال العنيف، بما في ذلك ريف دمشق، الأجزاء الشرقية من حلب ودير الزور ومحافظة الرقة، ويتحمل أعطال الخدمات الأساسية مثل إمدادات الكهرباء والمياه وجمع القمامة.

“، قد تعرضت للتلف العديد من محطات المياه، ويمكن لم يعد تزويد المجتمعات المحلية التي تعتمد عليها” وقال جان مارك بري، المسؤول عن أنشطة الصرف الصحي في سوريا الماء والدولية. “وعلاوة على ذلك، تضيع والخدمات الإدارية، بما في ذلك جمع القمامة، وأصبحت شبه معدومة في بعض المناطق حيث القتال قد تم اتخاذ مكان، أو يستمر فقط ليتم تنفيذها من خلال جهود الناس الذين يعيشون هناك.”

“عدم إزالة النفايات لفترات طويلة من الزمن قد يكون لها تأثير خطير على، رفاهية مجتمعات بأكملها”، قال. “أكوام من القمامة هي أرض خصبة مثالية لمرض والطفيليات.”

للمساعدة في درء أي كارثة الصحة العامة، أطلقت اللجنة الدولية عددا من المشاريع التي تهدف إلى تحسين الظروف الصحية بشكل عام. “نحن نحاول تحسين، إلى أقصى حد ممكن، والظروف التي تسمح للناس المتضررين من القتال يجب أن نعيش”، وقال السيد بري.

وبفضل الجهود المشتركة من اللجنة الدولية والهلال الأحمر العربي السوري، والقمامة في منطقة حلب الجسر الحاج تم جمعها والتخلص منها على مدى الأسبوعين الماضيين. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك، تم رش المبيدات الحشرية في حلب وادلب للمساعدة في السيطرة الطفيليات. وعلاوة على ذلك، عمل مهندسو اللجنة الدولية بالتعاون مع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري ومجالس المياه المحلية لتنفيذ إصلاحات طارئة في مناطق القتال الثقيلة لضمان توافر مياه الشرب النظيفة.

منذ بداية شهر آب، وذلك بالتعاون مع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري، قامت اللجنة الدولية أيضا:

قدمت مجالس المياه المحلية في ريف دمشق، دمشق، حلب، اللاذقية، السويداء، الحسكة، دير الزور، طرطوس، حمص وإدلب مع الخبرة التقنية والمعدات واللوازم، بما في ذلك المضخات والمولدات الكهربائية؛
واصلت لرفع مستوى المياه والإسكان والمرافق الصحية في أكثر من 45 موقعا العامة في ثماني محافظات حيث نازح يعيشون، في حين الانتهاء من العمل في مواقع أخرى 14 في ثلاث محافظات.

وزارة الصحة في اللجنة الدولية بما يلي:

تقييم مستشفيين في مدينة حماة التي لتقديم الإمدادات الجراحية لعلاج كامل من 100 مريض بجروح خطيرة؛
وقدم فرع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري في مدينة حماة مع المساعدة الطبية، بما في ذلك الدواء مرض مزمن لعلاج 450 مريضا؛
تزويد الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري مع الأدوية ل2،500 الأطفال.

قسم اللجنة الدولية الإغاثة بما يلي:

الطرود الغذائية المقدمة لبعض 260،000 شخص في دير الزور وحماة وحلب وريف دمشق واللاذقية وحمص وإدلب ودمشق المحافظات؛
الأفرشة والبطانيات ل60،000 شخص في ريف دمشق وحمص وحماة واللاذقية ودير الزور ودمشق؛
مجموعات مطبخ الموردة (أواني الطبخ والصحون والكؤوس والسكاكين) لأكثر من 30،000 شخص في حماة وحمص ودير الزور واللاذقية ودمشق؛
البنود الموردة النظافة (الشامبو، الصابون، منظفات الغسيل، مستلزمات النظافة أنثى، الخ) لبعض 70،000 شخص في حماة وحمص ودير الزور وريف دمشق واللاذقية “- اللجنة الدولية

فيديو
تشاك هيغل: جاهز الولايات المتحدة إذا كان ترتيب معين لضرب سوريا

(الائتمان فيديو: ا ف ب)

نشرت يوم 27 أغسطس 2013

27 أغسطس (ا ف ب) – بلومبرغ نيوز ‘جوليانا جولدمان والمساهمة في تحرير ريتشارد وفي رأي مغاير مناقشة تعليق من وزير الدفاع الاميركي تشاك هيغل أن الجيش الأمريكي مستعد للضرب في حال عدم إعطاء أمر من قبل حكومة الولايات المتحدة ضد سوريا. يتكلمون على تلفزيون بلومبرغ في “في حلقة”.

سوريا: الولايات المتحدة تقول إن الجيش هو جاهز للعمل – الولايات المتحدة مستعدة لشن سوريا سترايك

(الائتمان الفيديو: سوريا أخبار اليوم)
العمل العسكري في سوريا: الولايات المتحدة وحلفائها المقربين لقرار

(الائتمان فيديو: يورونيوز)

نشرت يوم 27 أغسطس 2013
أعلن وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم أن اليوم الثاني من الامم المتحدة للاسلحة … يورونيوز، القناة الاخبارية الأكثر مشاهدة في EuropeSubscribe لالجرعة اليومية من أخبار دولية، برعاية وأوضح: http://eurone.ws/10ZCK4aEuronews متاح في 13 لغات أخرى: أعلن وزير الخارجية وليد المعلم http://eurone.ws/17moBCUhttp://www.euronews.com/2013/08/27/us…Syrian أن اليوم الثاني من مفتشي الاسلحة الدوليين ‘ وقال التحقيق في الضربات الأسلحة الكيميائية المزعوم في دمشق تم postponed.Moualem وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية جون كيري ان الحكومة لم عرقلة العمل ولكن أن كانت هناك خلافات بين الثوار حول الترتيبات الأمنية. وقال المعلم ان الجيش قدما في حملتها العسكرية على الرغم من التهديد من الضربات الخارجية ممكن. انه addeded أن أي هجمات على سوريا من شأنه أن يخدم مصالح جماعات مرتبطة بتنظيم القاعدة. المجتمع الدولي، يواجه مجلس الامن الدولي صلت إلى طريق مسدود، وتبحث في وسائل أخرى لإضفاء الشرعية على توجيه ضربة عسكرية لسوريا. وكان المجلس المكون من 15 دولة في طي النسيان منذ بدء الانتفاضة ضد نظام الأسد في 2011.Both روسيا والصين حق النقض ضد ثلاثة قرارات تدعو إلى إجراءات حازمة ضد Damascus.In المملكة المتحدة، أشار رئيس الوزراء ديفيد كاميرون البرلمان من عطلته الصيفية، انه سيجتمع يوم الخميس لمناقشة الرد على الوضع في سوريا. وقد تدخلت الولايات المتحدة في الصراعات قبل بدون تأييد من الامم المتحدة، وخاصة في كوسوفو في عام 1999، ولها أن تفعل جيدا مرة أخرى كما يسعى الرئيس أوباما ما يسمى “تحالف الراغبين”. أي هجمات على سوريا بدعم من بريطانيا وفرنسا وتركيا، إلى سبيل المثال لا الحصر، سوف غضب موسكو – حليف Assad.The الولايات المتحدة تعتقد أن الأسد ادعاءات استخدام الأسلحة الكيميائية صحيحا، وهو ما تنفيه سوريا. يتحدث في واشنطن، اعتمدت وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية جون كيري لهجة صعبة: “معنى هذا الهجوم يتجاوز الصراع في سوريا جلبت نفسها والتي تتعارض بالفعل معاناة رهيبة جدا من ذلك بكثير وهذا هو حول نطاق واسع الاستخدام العشوائي للأسلحة التي العالم المتحضر منذ فترة طويلة قررت يجب ألا تستخدم أبدا على الإطلاق – ذهب قناعة مشتركة حتى من قبل الدول التي توافق على القليل آخر “كما واصلت الدبلوماسية الصراع الدموي على مع الموت سواء عن طريق الأسلحة التقليدية الكيميائية أو حدثا يوميا.

المتصلة:

سوريا: مفتشي هجوم كيماوي العثور على ‘أدلة قيمة’ على الرغم من تعرضها لنيران القناصة؛ المملكة المتحدة والولايات المتحدة سيناقشون العمل العسكري – 260813 2000z

Syria: Thousands of civilians besieged in El-Qusair; Red Cross alarmed at worsening humanitarian situation – 020613 1030z

A damaged mosque in Arjoun village near Qusair town, where forces of President Assad and rebel forces have been fighting. Reuters

01-06-2013 News Release

Other Reports

Syria conflict: Red Cross ‘alarmed’ over Qusair

Syrian doctor describes the worsening humanitarian situation in Qusair

The Red Cross has expressed alarm over the situation in the besieged Syrian town of Qusair, and has appealed for immediate access to deliver aid.

Thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped in the town, which lies close to the border with Lebanon.

The battle for control between pro-government forces and rebel fighters has made medical supplies, food and water scarce, the Red Cross says.

Russia has also reportedly blocked a UN “declaration of alarm” on Qusair.

The draft Security Council declaration, which was circulated by Britain, voiced “grave concern about the situation in Qusair, and in particular the impact on civilians of the ongoing fighting”.

Council statements such as these must be agreed unanimously.

However, a diplomat said Russia blocked the draft text because the UN had failed to speak out when Qusair was seized by rebels.

Trapped civilians

An opposition activist told the BBC on Friday that around 30,000 civilians were still in the town.

Rebel-held parts of Qusair are effectively blockaded by government forces and Hezbollah fighters.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement it was “alarmed” by reports of civilians trapped in Qusair and was prepared to enter the town immediately to deliver aid.

Strategic town of Qusair

  • Estimated population of 30,000 people
  • Up to 10,000 people have fled to neighbouring towns and 1,500 people are wounded, the UN says
  • Some 23 villages and 12 farms west of Qusair are reportedly inhabited by Lebanese Shia
  • Near the main route from Damascus to port of Tartous, a gateway to the heartland of President Assad’s Alawite sect

“Civilians and the wounded are at risk of paying an even heavier price as the fighting continues,” said the head of the ICRC’s operations in the region, Robert Mardini.

The UN secretary general’s office also appealed to the warring parties to allow residents to flee.

The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the fact that both the UN and ICRC have issued urgent statements at the same time is an indication of how desperate they believe the situation has become.

Fighting in Qusair intensified last month with militants from Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese group, joining forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Reinforcements from the rebel Free Syrian Army are reported to have managed to break through from the north-east to support the embattled rebel fighters.

Some Lebanese Sunnis have also crossed into Syria to fight alongside the rebels, who are drawn largely from Syria’s majority Sunni community.

On Saturday, influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi called on Sunni Muslims from around the Middle East to join the battle against President Assad.

He told a rally in Doha that Iran and the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, Mr Assad’s main allies, wanted to exterminate Sunnis.

Activists from the UK-based pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say rebels in Qusair are bracing themselves for another assault.

Fifteen Syrian army tanks have massed north of the town, says Rami Abdel Rahman, the observatory’s director.

“Regime forces are reinforcing the sites that they have north of the city, including Dabaa airport and Jawadiya,” he said.

Qusair, which lies 10 km from the Lebanese border, is considered a key logistical hub and supply route for weapons smuggled into Syria.

The town is also located near the main road connecting the city of Homs to the Syrian capital Damascus.

Map showing control of major roads in Syria (May 2013)

More on This Story

From other news sites

A Rare Glimpse Into Syrias Besieged Qusair

A screen grab of a Qusair video report provided by activist Rifaie Tammas

Supported by more than 4,000 Shia Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Army this week sealed off the rebel-held town of Qusair, a strategic crossroads for supplies about 15 kilometers from the border with Lebanon.

Early in the week Syrian government forces reportedly reclaimed nearby Dabaa air base. Several hundred members of the rebel Tawhid Brigade from Aleppo allegedly broke through a line of government forces on Friday to assist rebels defending the town. Some outside analysts predict, however, the regime of President Bashar al-Assad will re-take the town, trying to tip the balance of a stalemated two-year rebellion just weeks prior to proposed Geneva peace negotiations.

Known previously to the Middle East Voices Syria Witness project only as Sami, a former English teacher turned anti-Assad activist spoke to us via Skype, having recently decided to start using his real name, Rifaie Tammas.

Earlier this week, Tammas sent Middle East Voices a link to the following YouTube video through which he as a stand-up reporter attempted to demonstrate that Qusair at that point was neither in the hands of Syrian government forces nor Hezbollah fighters (the video record date and actual location cannot be independently confirmed).

Tammas reporting in English from Qusair (video upload date Monday, May 27, 2013)

(Video credit: Rifaie Tammas)

In a Skype interview on Wednesday (an excerpted version is featured at the sound file below), Tammas described Qusair as a ghost town being defended by a few units of armed rebels against widespread and random government shelling as well as the advances of well-armed and battle-seasoned Hezbollah fighters sent from Lebanon to aid the Assad forces.

His recorded narrative, punctuated by the thunder of bombs and rockets, takes on a personal tone as Tammas described how family and friends have taken cover from the government shelling in basements of abandoned homes, and that many other Qusair residents have escaped to open farm fields outside the town.

Most of the Free Syria Army is on the front lines. As for civilians, most of them are trapped inside underground shelters, said he.

Tammas talked about the deaths of many friends and family in the last two years, and how he copes with those losses.

I just cant believe how many I have lost Every now and then I see a picture of them posted on FaceBook, that they were martyred (a common term used by Syrians for those killed in fighting ed.)

He was resentful that Lebanese militants would descend on Qusair which had housed and fed these fighters as brothers six years earlier in Hezbollahs conflict with Israeli forces.

We treated them like brothers and sisters, like family and now they come to you, they come to kill you.

Tammas was surprised that the Lebanese were so much more disciplined than Syrian troops, who he called cowards.

The regime soldiers, the militias, when you destroyed their tanks, they would run away, you chase them now, you destroy a tank, the Hezbollah still comes.

On the day of the interview, Tammas reported that one of his uncle had just died in the shelling of nearby residences. On the following day, he sent a message that his own father, a staunch anti-Assad Syrian who was hiding in a basement just a 10-minute walk from his own shelter, had been killed by another government rocket.

Singing off with his real name, Tammar said, May Allah rest his soul in peace. – http://middleeastvoices.voanews.com

Syria conflict: Red Cross ‘alarmed’ over Qusair

(Video credit: YourNewsAnnouncer)

Published on 2 Jun 2013

The Red Cross has expressed alarm over the situation in the besieged Syrian town of Qusair, and has appealed for immediate access to deliver aid.

Thousands of Syrian Civilians Trapped by Qusair Fighting

(Video credit: CrackedFunnyvideos)

Published on 28 May 2013

Thousands of civilians are trapped in the Syrian border town of Qusair amid heavy fighting says the United Nations Human Rights Chief. Syrian state TV journalist is killed in the violence.

Related:

Red Cross: Syria is now in civil war, Humanitarian Law applies Published 15 July 2012 1300GMT/UTC

Arabic (Google translation)

Iran: 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes close to nuclear power plant. 37 dead, 850 injured – 090413 1705z

30 killed and 800 injured in 6.3 magnitude quake that struck close to Iran’s only nuclear power plant, says Iranian news agency.

Map

(Image: BBC News)

However, UN Nuclear Agency says Iran has told it the earthquake caused no damage to Bushehr plant and no radioactive release.

– Ch4 News

“(Reuters) – A powerful earthquake struck close to Iran’s only nuclear power station on Tuesday, killing 30 people and injuring 800 as it devastated small villages, state media reported.

 

The 6.3 magnitude quake totally destroyed one village, a Red Crescent official told the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), but the nearby Bushehr nuclear plant was undamaged, according to a local politician and the Russian company that built it.

 

“Up until now the earthquake has left behind 30 dead and 800 injured,” said Fereydoun Hassanvand, the governor of Bushehr province, according to ISNA.

 

Many houses in rural parts of the province are made of mud brick, which can easily crumble in a quake.

 

Across the Gulf, offices in Qatar and Bahrain were evacuated after the quake, whose epicenter was 89 km (55 miles) southeast of the port of Bushehr, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The early afternoon shock was also felt in financial hub Dubai.

 

Abdulkarim Jomeiri, a member of parliament for Bushehr, told IRNA that “the distance between the earthquake focal point and the Bushehr nuclear power plant was about 80 km and, on the basis of the latest information, there has been no damage to the power plant.”

 

The Russian company that built the nuclear power station, 18 km (11 miles) south of Bushehr, said the plant was unaffected.

 

“The earthquake in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor. Personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm,” Russian state news agency RIA quoted an official at Atomstroyexport as saying.

 

One Bushehr resident said her home and the homes of her neighbors were shaken by the quake but not damaged.

 

“We could clearly feel the earthquake,” said Nikoo, who asked to be identified only by her first name. “The windows and chandeliers all shook.”

 

Tuesday’s quake was much smaller than the 9.0 magnitude one that hit Japan two years ago, triggering a tsunami that destroyed back-up generators and disabled the Fukushima nuclear plant’s cooling system. Three of the reactors melted down.

 

Iran is the only country operating a nuclear power plant that does not belong to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, negotiated after the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl which contaminated wide areas and forced about 160,000 Ukrainians from their homes.

 

Western officials and the United Nations have urged Iran to join the safety forum.

 

REPEATED WARNINGS

 

Tehran has repeatedly rejected safety concerns about Bushehr – built in a highly seismic area – that began operations in September 2011 after decades of delays.

 

Iran sits on major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years, including a 6.6 magnitude quake in 2003 which flattened the southeastern city of Bam and killed more than 25,000 people. In August more than 300 people were killed when two quakes struck the north west.

 

A report published last week by U.S. think-tanks Carnegie Endowment and the Federation of American Scientists said that “ominously” the Bushehr reactor sits at the intersection of three tectonic plates.

 

“Iran’s sole nuclear power plant is not at risk of a tsunami similar in size to the one that knocked out the electricity and emergency cooling systems at Fukushima. But, repeated warnings about the threat of earthquakes for the Bushehr nuclear plant appear to have fallen on deaf ears,” the report said.

 

The quake happened on National Nuclear Technology Day when Iran’s leaders celebrate the technological advances they say will reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, leaving more of its abundant oil for export.

 

Israel, Gulf Arab states and many Western countries fear Tehran is seeking a nuclear weapons capability and the Islamic Republic is under international sanctions aimed at forcing it to curb some of its atomic work.

 

Iran denies it wants nuclear arms and says its atomic work is for electricity generation and other peaceful uses.

 

(Additional reporting by Fredrik Dahl in Vienna, Regan Doherty in Doha, Steve Gutterman in Moscow; Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Jon Hemming)” – REU

Other Reports

Deadly quake in south-west Iran’s Bushehr province

 

A building destroyed in the quake Thousands are thought to live in the area affected by the earthquake

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake has killed at least 37 people and injured 850 in south-west Iran, officials say.

Rescue teams have been sent to the affected area, but darkness is hampering rescue operations.

The quake struck 90km (60 miles) south of the country’s only nuclear power station in Bushehr, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says.

However, the nuclear plant has not been affected and is working normally, officials have said.

The quake was felt across the Gulf in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

Some 10,000 people are thought to live in the affected area in more than 50 villages, two of which have reportedly been completely levelled.

Bushehr’s governor says 700 houses have been damaged and 200 families affected.

The governor’s office has sent generators to the area so rescue operation can continue overnight, the BBC’s Mohsen Asgari in Tehran reports.

Seismologists said the quake struck at 16:22 (11:52 GMT) at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles) near the town of Kaki, south of Bushehr – a Gulf port city that is home to Iran’s first and only nuclear power plant.

Iran’s seismological centre in Bushehr province, linked to Tehran University, registered the quake at a magnitude of 6.1.

Start Quote

It was a very strange sensation, rather like being on a rocking boat

Phil Stevens Office worker in Abu Dhabi

Tens of aftershocks – the strongest measuring a magnitude of 5.4 – struck within an hour, sending many people into the streets for safety.

State media reported that phone lines had been brought down by the quake and its aftershocks.

The earthquake shook buildings across the Gulf.

“Our entire building started to wobble from side to side for around 30 seconds or so,” Phil Stevens, working on the 10th floor of a building in Abu Dhabi, told the BBC.

“It was a very strange sensation, rather like being on a rocking boat. We evacuated our office and quickly learned of the earthquake in Iran.”

Fault line

The governor of Bushehr, Fereydoun Hassanvand, told Iranian state TV that the nuclear plant was not damaged.

An official with the Russian firm Atomstroyexport told Russian media that the quake “in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor”.

“Personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm,” the official was quoted by Russian state news agency Ria as saying.

Iran’s nuclear programme has roused concern among major powers that Tehran wants to build nuclear weapons – a charge Iran strongly denies.

Iran straddles a major geological fault line, making it prone to seismic activity. In 2003, an earthquake in the city of Bam left more than 25,000 people dead.

Have you seen “Panorama”? Shows how the International Red Cross help millions of people affected by war – 090413 1430z

In a world wracked by conflict and armed violence, the ICRC brings hope and humanity to millions of people across the globe.

This film highlights the organization’s work to protect and assist victims of war — treating the wounded, providing shelter and clean water, reuniting families and promoting respect for the rules of war.

Neutral and independent, the ICRC is part of the world’s largest humanitarian movement, bringing assistance to those in need, regardless of race, religion or politics.

Related:

RED CROSS (ICRC) anniversary 17 Feb 2013: 150 years of humanitarian action in the midst of armed conflict 1502131920z

https://goatysnews.wordpress.com/?s=red+cross&submit=Search

 

Head of Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Canada to share update on humanitarian situation

Red Cross Talks

This week, the Canadian Red Cross welcomed the president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in Ottawa. Dr. Abdul Rahman Attar met with Red Cross staff and partners to provide an update on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and to ask for additional support. This was a unique opportunity to learn more about the situation on the ground.

Since the conflict began two years ago, three million people have been displaced within Syria and hundreds of thousands more have taken refuge in neighbouring countries. That means families moving to neighbouring cities to live with family, in camps or seeking shelter in public buildings, sometimes moving more than once.

Through the efforts of SARC working with the World Food Program, the ICRC, the Federation and other NGOs, two million people are receiving aid consisting food and non-food items, as well as water, first aid and medical services from mobile clinics…

View original post 200 more words

Syria: Two years on, immense suffering with no end in sight – International Red Cross (ICRC) – 150313 1930z

15-03-2013 Geneva/Damascus (ICRC):

Two years after the outbreak of violence in Syria, humanitarian needs are greater than ever. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the armed conflict and are struggling to survive hardship on a daily basis. They endure fierce fighting and a steady deterioration of living conditions, with no end in sight to their suffering.

”Hundreds are dying daily in Syria. Millions have been displaced inside the country while others have fled to neighboring countries to live in harsh conditions,

said Robert Mardini, Head of Operations for the Near and Middle East at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Tens of thousands are missing or detained. Families are desperately seeking their loved ones, with no information available as to their whereabouts. Health standards have fallen dramatically, medical facilities have been targeted and health workers killed, intimidated or detained while trying to save lives. Property and infrastructure have been severely damaged, leaving large areas in rubble.”

The fate and condition of people detained in connection with the armed conflict remains an issue of extreme concern for the ICRC. “Despite repeated attempts to resume our visits to detainees, very little has been achieved so far. Today, we have no first-hand information on the situation of detainees and this is very worrying for us. We will continue to seek concrete action from the Syrian authorities that will allow us to visit detainees. This remains one of our top priorities,” added Mardini.

“It is deplorable that high numbers of civilian casualties are now a daily occurrence to which people are unfortunately getting accustomed”, said Mardini.

“Many atrocities against civilians have been reported or witnessed over the past two years and we have also seen indiscriminate attacks against civilians and the targeting of health-care personnel and aid workers. These ongoing violations of international humanitarian law and of basic humanitarian principles by all sides must stop”.

The parties to the conflict have not come close to a political solution, nor has the international community succeeded in negotiating an end to this armed conflict. At the same time and despite huge efforts made by a handful of humanitarian organizations on the ground, the aid provided to the Syrian people is far from meeting the ever growing needs.

The ICRC along with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are doing more than ever before. Working across front-lines, they are delivering aid to some of the hardest-hit opposition and government-controlled areas. In the last three weeks alone, they had access to three opposition-held areas and distributed assistance in Homs, Hama and Idlib governorates. “Over the last two years millions have received aid, but it is not enough. Needs are growing at a faster pace than our ability to respond. Security constraints and lack of access to some areas prevent us responding as we should do”.

“Today, we are not able to reach all the affected population. We very much believe that States should play a positive role by exerting stronger influence on those involved to secure greater respect for international humanitarian law. This would hopefully create an environment where impartial humanitarian action could take place in real time”, concluded Mr. Mardini.

Interview with Robert Mardini, Head of Operations for the Near and Middle East at the ICRC (TV news footage, broadcast quality: www.icrcvideonewsroom.org)

Two years of conflict inSyria

Posted on March 15, 2013 by Janice Babineau, East Coast blogger, @JaniceBabineau

Syrian Arab Red Crescent provide assistance

Today marks the second anniversary of theoutbreak of violencein Syria.The ICRC reports that humanitarian needs are greater than everas civilians continue to bear the brunt of the on-going armed conflict. In this photo, people are gathered outside a warehouse where the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the ICRCdistributed food parcels to several thousandpeople.The ICRC also shared theseimages illustratingthedaily realityfor civilians in Syria.

Photo credit: ICRC / M. Al-Zuabi

RED CROSS (ICRC) anniversary 17 Feb 2013: 150 years of humanitarian action in the midst of armed conflict – 150213 1920z

Geneva (ICRC) On 17 February, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will mark its 150th anniversary and commemorate the beginning of its efforts to bring relief to millions and improve the lives of countless people adversely affected by armed conflict.

At a time when people are suffering the agonies of war in Syria, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere, the ICRC is more determined than ever to carry on with its humanitarian mission.

This anniversary provides us with an opportunity to look critically at our past, and also to develop awareness of the strengths that have helped us in our activities carried out for millions of victims of armed conflict and other violence, said Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC. Now more than ever, we must not only remain true to our principles but also search for new ways to better serve the people who need help. We must redouble our efforts to make sure that the neutral, impartial and independent nature of our humanitarian activities is understood by all.

150 years of humanitarian action website

The activities of the ICRC and of the entire International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement began on fields of battle, where wounded soldiers were cared for no matter who they were or which side they belonged to.

On 17 February 1863 five Swiss citizens gathered in Geneva to create an international committee for relief to the wounded, which in 1875 was renamed the International Committee of the Red Cross. The ICRC is now one of the largest international humanitarian organizations, with almost 13,000 staff working in behalf of the victims of armed conflict and other violence in 92 countries.

The Red Cross story that began 150 years ago is not only the story of the Red Cross itself it is also, in fact mainly, the story of people who suffer the effects of war and other violence, and of what can and should be done to help them.

The ICRC continues to adapt to new forms of armed conflict and to a number of challenges confronting humanitarian activities. We are carrying on with our work in an environment that is being shaped by the use of new weapons and technologies, the proliferation of armed groups, the difficulty of obtaining access to people requiring aid, and a plethora of NGOs and other humanitarian organizations endeavouring to serve communities with competing approaches, said the ICRC president.

Together with our partners within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the broader humanitarian community, we must seek ways of meeting these challenges, said the ICRC president. We have to better coordinate humanitarian efforts, and pay very careful attention to the opinions of those we are seeking to help and give them the opportunity to play an active role in these efforts, the ultimate aim of which is to enable people in need to achieve a lasting recovery.

The biggest challenge facing the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations is a lack of respect for international humanitarian law, which prohibits violence directed against people who are not involved in armed conflict, like children, the wounded or sick, or detainees. The need for a strong political will to spare civilians and otherwise comply with international humanitarian law, whether on the part of States or of non-State armed groups, has never been greater, said Mr Maurer.

Many of the ICRCs everyday activities now have far-reaching effects. When ICRC delegates visit detainees in Guantanamo, or facilitate the release of hostages in Colombia, or help people in Afghanistan obtain health care in safe conditions, or provide the maintenance and technical know-how that keep the water and electricity networks up and running in Goma, a city of half a million people, or push for a binding international treaty on cluster munitions, they have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of many people, said Mr Maurer.

The vision of Henry Dunant the Red Cross idea has not only survived but flourished through all these long years, said Mr Maurer. Over the past century and a half, the ICRC has overcome political adversity, financial difficulty, cultural barriers and countless other obstacles, even attacks on its own staff to bring vitally needed humanitarian assistance and protection to people in need. Once quite small with an entirely Swiss staff, the ICRC now performs its humanitarian tasks in over 90 countries all over the world, and has a workforce of almost 13,000 men and women of over 100 different nationalities. ICRC

Jean Henri Dunant

from wikipedia.org

Jean Henri Dunant (May 8, 1828 – October 30, 1910), also known as Henry Dunant, was a Swiss businessman and social activist. During a business trip in 1859, he was witness to the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in modern day Italy. He recorded his memories and experiences in the book A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863. The 1864 Geneva Convention was based on Dunants ideas. In 1901 he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with FrÃdÃric Passy.

Early life and education

Dunant was born in Geneva, Switzerland, the first son of businessman Jean-Jacques Dunant and Antoinette Dunant-Colladon. His family was devoutly Calvinist and had significant influence in Geneva society. His parents stressed the value of social work, and his father was active helping orphans and parolees, while his mother worked with the sick and poor. His father worked in a prison and an orphanage.

Dunant grew up during the period of religious awakening known as the RÃveil, and at age 18 he joined the Geneva Society for Alms giving. In the following year, together with friends, he founded the so-called Thursday Association, a loose band of young men that met to study the Bible and help the poor, and he spent much of his free time engaged in prison visits and social work. On November 30, 1852, he founded the Geneva chapter of the YMCA and three years later he took part in the Paris meeting devoted to the founding of its international organization.

In 1849, at age 21, Dunant was forced to leave the CollÃge Calvin due to poor grades, and he began an apprenticeship with the money-changing firm Lullin et Sautter. After its successful conclusion, he remained as an employee of the bank.

Algeria

In 1853, Dunant visited Algeria, Tunisia, and Sicily, on assignment with a company devoted to the colonies of Setif (Compagnie genevoise des Colonies de SÃtif). Despite little experience, he successfully fulfilled the assignment. Inspired by the trip, he wrote his first book with the title An Account of the Regency in Tunis (Notice sur la RÃgence de Tunis), published in 1858.

In 1856, he created a business to operate in foreign colonies, and, after being granted a land concession by French-occupied Algeria, a corn-growing and trading company called the Financial and Industrial Company of Mons-DjÃmila Mills (SociÃtà financiÃre et industrielle des Moulins des Mons-DjÃmila). However, the land and water rights were not clearly assigned, and the colonial authorities were not especially cooperative. As a result, Dunant decided to appeal directly to French emperor NapolÃon III, who was with his army in Lombardy at the time. France was fighting on the side of Piedmont-Sardinia against Austria, who had occupied much of todays Italy. Napoleons headquarters were located in the small city of Solferino. Dunant wrote a flattering book full of praise for Napoleon III with the intention to present it to the emperor, and then traveled to Solferino to meet with him personally.

The Battle of Solferino

Dunant arrived on Solferino on the evening of June 24, 1859, on the same day a battle between the two sides had occurred nearby. Thirty-eight thousand wounded, dying and dead, remained on the battlefield, and there appeared to be little attempt to provide care. Shocked, Dunant himself took the initiative to organize the civilian population, especially the women and girls, to provide assistance to the injured and sick soldiers. They lacked sufficient materials and supplies, and Dunant himself organized the purchase of needed materials and helped erect makeshift hospitals. He convinced the population to service the wounded without regard to their side in the conflict as per the slogan Tutti fratelli (All are brothers) coined by the women of nearby city Castiglione delle Stiviere. He also succeeded in gaining the release of Austrian doctors captured by the French.

The Red Cross

After returning to Geneva early in July, Dunant decided to write a book about his experiences, which he titled Un Souvenir de Solferino (A Memory of Solferino). It was published in 1862 in an edition of 1,600 copies and was printed at Dunants own expense. Within the book, he described the battle, its costs, and the chaotic circumstances afterwards. He also developed the idea that in the future a neutral organization should exist to provide care to wounded soldiers. He distributed the book to many leading political and military figures in Europe.

Drawing of the five founders of the International Committee.

Dunant also began to travel through Europe to promote his ideas. His book was largely positively received, and the President of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare, jurist Gustave Moynier, made the book and its suggestions the topic of the February 9, 1863 meeting of the organization. Dunants recommendations were examined and positively assessed by the members. They created a five-person Committee to further pursue the possibility of their implementation and made Dunant one of the members. The others were Moynier, the Swiss army general Henri Dufour, and doctors Louis Appia and ThÃodore Maunoir. Their first meeting on February 17, 1863 is now considered the founding date of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

From early on, Moynier and Dunant had increasing disagreements and conflicts regarding their respective visions and plans. Moynier considered Dunants idea to establish neutrality protections for care providers unfeasible and advised Dunant not to insist upon this concept. However, Dunant continued to advocate this position in his travels and conversations with high-ranking political and military figures. This intensified the personal conflict between Moynier, who took a rather pragmatic approach to the project, and Dunant, who was the visionary idealist among the five, and led to efforts by Moynier to attack Dunant and his bid for leadership.

In October 1863, 14 states took part in a meeting in Geneva organized by the committee to discuss the improvement of care for wounded soldiers. Dunant himself, however, was only a protocol leader because of Moyniers efforts to diminish his role. A year later on August 22, 1864, a diplomatic conference organized by the Swiss Parliament led to the signing of the First Geneva Convention by 12 states. Dunant, again, was only in charge of organizing accommodation for the attendes.

Forgotten period

Dunants businesses in Algeria had suffered, partially because of his devotion to his humanistic ideals. In April 1867, the bankruptcy of the financial firm CrÃdit Genevois led to a scandal involving Dunant. He was forced to declare bankruptcy and was condemned by the Geneva Trade Court on August 17, 1868 for deceptive practices in the bankruptcies. Due to their investments in the firm, his family and many of his friends were also heavily affected by the downfall of the company. The social outcry in Geneva, a city deeply rooted in Calvinist traditions, also led to calls for him to separate himself from the International Committee. On August 25, 1868, he resigned as Secretary and, on September 8, he was fully removed from the Committee. Moynier, who had become President of the Committee in 1864, played a major role in his expulsion.

In February 1868, Dunants mother died. Later that year he was also expelled from the YMCA. In March 1867, he left his home city Geneva and would not return for the rest of his life. In the following years, Moynier likely used his influence to attempt to ensure that Dunant would not receive assistance and support from his friends. For example, the gold medal prize of Sciences Morales at the Paris Worlds Fair did not go to Dunant as originally planned but to Moynier, Dufour, and Dunant together so that the prize money would only go to the Committee as a whole. NapolÃon IIIs offer to take over half of Dunants debts if Dunants friends would secure the other half was also thwarted by Moyniers efforts.

Dunant moved to Paris, where he lived in meager conditions. However, he continued to pursue his humanitarian ideas and plans. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), he founded the Common Relief Society (Allgemeine Fürsorgegesellschaft) and soon after the Common Alliance for Order and Civilization (Allgemeine Allianz für Ordnung und Zivilisation). He argued for disarmament negotiations and for the erection of an international court to mediate international conflicts. Later he worked for the creation of a world library, an idea which had echoes in future projects such as UNESCO.

In his continued pursuit and advocacy of his ideas, he further neglected his personal situation and income, falling further in debt and being shunned by his acquaintances. Despite being appointed an honorary member of the national Red Cross societies of Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Prussia and Spain, he was nearly forgotten in the official discourse of the Red Cross Movement, even as it was rapidly expanding to new countries. He lived in poverty, moving to various places between 1874 and 1886, including Stuttgart, Rome, Corfu, Basel, and Karlsruhe. In Stuttgart he met the Tübingen University student Rudolf Müller with whom he would have a close friendship. In 1881, together with friends from Stuttgart, he went to the small Swiss resort village Heiden for the first time. In 1887 while living in London, he began to receive some monthly financial support from some distant family members. This enabled him to live a somewhat more secure existence, and he moved to Heiden in July. He spent the rest of his life there, and after April 30, 1892 he lived in a hospital and nursing home led by Dr. Hermann Altherr.

In Heiden, he met the young teacher Wilhelm Sonderegger and his wife Susanna; they encouraged him to record his life experiences. Sondereggers wife founded a branch of the Red Cross in Heiden and in 1890 Dunant became its honorary president. With Sonderegger, Dunant hoped to further promote his ideas, including publishing a new edition of his book. However, their friendship later was strained by Dunants unjustified accusations that Sonderegger, with Moynier in Geneva, was somehow conspiring against Dunant. Sonderegger died in 1904 at the age of only forty-two. Despite their strained relationship, Dunant was deeply moved by the unexpected death. Wilhelm and Susanna Sondereggers admiration for Dunant, felt by both even after Dunants allegations, was passed on to their children. In 1935, their son Renà published a compilation of letters from Dunant to his father.

Return to public memory

In September 1895, Georg Baumberger, the chief editor of the St. Gall newspaper Die Ostschweiz, wrote an article about the Red Cross founder, whom he had met and conversed with during a walk in Heiden a month earlier. The article entitled Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, appeared in the German Illustrated Magazine Ãœber Land und Meer, and the article was soon reprinted in other publications throughout Europe. The article struck a chord, and he received renewed attention and support. He received the Swiss Binet-Fendt Prize and a note from Pope Leo XIII. Because of support from Russian tsarist widow Maria Feodorovna and other donations, his financial situation improved remarkably.

In 1897, Rudolf Müller, who was now working as a teacher in Stuttgart, wrote a book about the origins of the Red Cross, altering the official history to stress Dunants role. The book also contained the text of A Memory of Solferino. Dunant began an exchange of correspondence with Bertha von Suttner and wrote numerous articles and writings. He was especially active in writing about womens rights, and in 1897 facilitated the founding of a Green Cross womens organization whose only section was briefly active in Brussels.

Nobel Peace Prize

Dunant in 1901

In 1901, Dunant was awarded the first-ever Nobel Peace Prize for his role in founding the International Red Cross Movement and initiating the Geneva Convention. Norwegian military physician Hans Daae, who had received a copy of Müllers book, advocated Dunants case on the Nobel committee. The award was jointly given to French pacifist FrÃdÃric Passy, founder of the Peace League and active with Dunant in the Alliance for Order and Civilization. The official congratulations which he received from the International Committee finally represented the rehabilitation of Dunants reputation:

There is no man who more deserves this honour, for it was you, forty years ago, who set on foot the international organization for the relief of the wounded on the battlefield. Without you, the Red Cross, the supreme humanitarian achievement of the nineteenth century would probably have never been undertaken.

Moynier and the International Committee as a whole had also been nominated for the prize. Although Dunant was supported by a broad spectrum in the selection process, he was still a controversial candidate. Some argued that the Red Cross and the Geneva Convention had made war more attractive and imaginable by eliminating some of its suffering. Therefore Müller, in a letter to the committee, argued that the prize should be divided between Dunant and Passy, who for some time in the debate had been the leading candidate to be the sole recipient of the prize. Müller also suggested that if a prize were to be warranted for Dunant, it should be given immediately because of his advanced age and ill health.

By dividing the prize between Passy, a pacifist, and Dunant, a humanitarian, the Nobel Committee set a precedent for the conditions of the Nobel Peace Prize selection which would have significant consequences in later years. A section of Nobels will had indicated that the prize should go to an individual who had worked to reduce or eliminate standing armies, or directly to promote peace conferences, which made Passy a natural choice for his peace work. On the other hand, the arguably distinct bestowal for humanitarian effort alone was seen by some as a wide interpretation of Nobels will. However, another part of Nobels testament marked the prize for the individual who had best enhanced the brotherhood of people, which could be interpreted more generally as seeing humanitarian work like Dunants as connected to peacemaking as well. Many recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in later years can be assigned to either of these two categories first roughly established by the Nobel committees decision in 1901.

Hans Daae succeeded in placing Dunants part of the prize money, 104,000 Swiss Francs, in a Norwegian Bank and preventing access by his creditors. Dunant himself never spent any of the money during his lifetime.

Death and legacy

Grave of Henry Dunant.

Henry Dunant Monument in Wagga Wagga, Australia

Among several other awards in the following years, in 1903 Dunant was given an honorary doctorate by the medical faculty of the University of Heidelberg. He lived in the nursing home in Heiden until his death. In the final years of his life, he suffered from depression and paranoia about pursuit by his creditors and Moynier. There were even days when Dunant insisted that the cook of the nursing home first taste his food before his eyes to protect him against possible poisoning. In his final years, he spurned and attacked Calvinism and organized religion generally. He was said to be agnostic.[2][3]

According to his nurses, the final act of his life was to send a copy of Müllers book to the Italian queen with a personal dedication. He died on October 30, 1910, and his final words were Where has humanity gone? He outlived his nemesis Moynier by just two months. Despite the ICRCs congratulations at the bestowal of the Nobel prize, the two rivals never reached a reconciliation.

According to his wishes, he was buried without ceremony in the Sihlfeld Cemetery in Zurich. In his will, he donated funds to secure a free bed in the Heiden nursing home always to be available for a poor citizen of the region and deeded some money to friends and charitable organizations in Norway and Switzerland. The remaining funds went to his creditors partially relieving his debt; his inability to fully erase his debts was a major burden to him until his death.

His birthday, May 8, is celebrated as the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. The former nursing home in Heiden now houses the Henry Dunant Museum. In Geneva and other places there are numerous streets, squares, and schools named after him. The Henry Dunant Medal, awarded every two years by the standing commission of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is its highest decoration.

His life is represented, with some fictional elements, in the film Dhomme à hommes (1948), starring Jean-Louis Barrault, and the period of his life when the Red Cross was founded in the international film coproduction Henry Dunant: Red on the Cross (2006). In 2010 the Takarazuka Revue staged a musical based on his time in Solferino and the founding of the Red Cross entitled ã½ãƒãƒãリーãƒãåœæ˜ã (Dawn at Solferino, or Where has Humanity Gone?).

See also

References

Stanford, Richard (2012) Searching For Henri, The Ovi, Issue #23/2012, http://ovimagazine.com/pdfs/pdf_76.pdf

  1. ^ http://www.culoz.fr/culture_tourisme/personnages.htm
  2. ^ Oscar Riddle (2007). The Unleashing of Evolutionary Thought. Vantage Press, Inc. p.343. ISBN9780533155972. The first Nobel Peace Prize went, in 1901, to Henri Dunant. Dunant was the founder of the Red Cross, but he could not become its first elective head-so it is widely believed- because of his agnostic views.
  3. ^ Devoutly Calvinist for most of his life, but became bitter and disdainful toward religion in his latter years. NNDB.com, Henry Dunant.

English books

  • Henry Dunant: A Memory of Solferino. ICRC, Geneva 1986, ISBN 2-88145-006-7 – full text online: [1]
  • Pierre Boissier: [2]History of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Volume I: From Solferino to Tsushima. Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva 1985, ISBN 2-88044-012-2
  • Pierre Boissier: [3]Henri Dunant Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva 1974, ISBN 2-88044-012-2 ¢
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dunants dream: War, Switzerland and the history of the Red Cross. HarperCollins, London 1998, ISBN 0-00-255141-1 (Hardcover edition); HarperCollins, London 1999, ISBN 0-00-638883-3 (Paperback edition)
  • Peter Masters: Men of Destiny. Wakeman Trust, London 2008, ISBN 1-870855-55-8 (Paperback edition). See chapter 8 – The Man Behind the Red Cross.

German books

  • Eveline Hasler: Der Zeitreisende. Die Visionen des Henry Dunant. Verlag Nagel & Kimche AG, Zürich 1994, ISBN 3-312-00199-4 (Hardcover edition); Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, München 2003, ISBN 3-423-13073-3 (Paperback edition)
  • Martin Gumpert: Dunant. Der Roman des Roten Kreuzes. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt 1987, ISBN 3-596-25261-X
  • Willy Heudtlass, Walter Gruber: Jean Henry Dunant. Gründer des Roten Kreuzes, Urheber der Genfer Konvention. 4. Auflage. Verlag Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-17-008670-7

External links

Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Henry Dunant
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Henry Dunant
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Henri Dunant

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland and a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate. States parties (signatories) to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 (Protocol I, Protocol II) and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants.[3]

The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the International Federation and 186 National Societies.[4] It is the oldest and most honoured organization within the Movement and one of the most widely recognized organizations in the world, having won three Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944, and 1963.[5]

Solferino, Henry Dunant and the foundation of the ICRC

Up until the middle of the 19th century, there were no organized and well-established army nursing systems for casualties and no safe and protected institutions to accommodate and treat those who were wounded on the battlefield. In June 1859, the Swiss businessman Henry Dunant traveled to Italy to meet French emperor NapolÃon III with the intention of discussing difficulties in conducting business in Algeria, at that time occupied by France. When he arrived in the small town of Solferino on the evening of 24 June, he witnessed the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Franco-Austrian War. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides died or were left wounded on the field. Henry Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, and the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care. He completely abandoned the original intent of his trip and for several days he devoted himself to helping with the treatment and care for the wounded. He succeeded in organizing an overwhelming level of relief assistance by motivating the local population to aid without discrimination. Back in his home in Geneva, he decided to write a book entitled A Memory of Solferino[6] which he published with his own money in 1862. He sent copies of the book to leading political and military figures throughout Europe. In addition to penning a vivid description of his experiences in Solferino in 1859, he explicitly advocated the formation of national voluntary relief organizations to help nurse wounded soldiers in the case of war. In addition, he called for the development of international treaties to guarantee the neutrality and protection of those wounded on the battlefield as well as medics and field hospitals.

Original document of the first Geneva Convention, 1864.

On 9 February 1863 in Geneva, Henry Dunant founded the Committee of the Five (together with four other leading figures from well-known Geneva families) as an investigatory commission of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare.[7] Their aim was to examine the feasibility of Dunants ideas and to organize an international conference about their possible implementation. The members of this committee, aside from Dunant himself, were Gustave Moynier, lawyer and chairman of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare; physician Louis Appia, who had significant experience working as a field surgeon; Appias friend and colleague ThÃodore Maunoir, from the Geneva Hygiene and Health Commission; and Guillaume-Henri Dufour, a Swiss Army general of great renown. Eight days later, the five men decided to rename the committee to the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded. In October (26–29) 1863, the international conference organized by the committee was held in Geneva to develop possible measures to improve medical services on the battle field. The conference was attended by 36 individuals: eighteen official delegates from national governments, six delegates from other non-governmental organizations, seven non-official foreign delegates, and the five members of the International Committee. The states and kingdoms represented by official delegates were Baden, Bavaria, France, Britain, Hanover, Hesse, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Spain. Among the proposals written in the final resolutions of the conference, adopted on 29 October 1863, were:

  • The foundation of national relief societies for wounded soldiers;
  • Neutrality and protection for wounded soldiers;
  • The utilization of volunteer forces for relief assistance on the battlefield;
  • The organization

additional conferences to enact these concepts in legally binding international treaties; and

  • The introduction of a common distinctive protection symbol for medical personnel in the field, namely a white armlet bearing a red cross.

Memorial commemorating the first use of the Red Cross symbol in an armed conflict during the Battle of DybbÃl (Denmark) in 1864; jointly erected in 1989 by the national Red Cross societies of Denmark and Germany.

The Red Cross in action in 1864

Only one year later, the Swiss government invited the governments of all European countries, as well as the United States, Brazil, and Mexico, to attend an official diplomatic conference. Sixteen countries sent a total of twenty-six delegates to Geneva. On 22 August 1864, the conference adopted the first Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. Representatives of 12 states and kingdoms signed the convention: Baden, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hesse, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Prussia, Switzerland, Spain, and Württemberg. The convention contained ten articles, establishing for the first time legally binding rules guaranteeing neutrality and protection for wounded soldiers, field medical personnel, and specific humanitarian institutions in an armed conflict. Furthermore, the convention defined two specific requirements for recognition of a national relief society by the International Committee:

  • The national society must be recognized by its own national government as a relief society according to the convention, and
  • The national government of the respective country must be a state party to the Geneva Convention.

Directly following the establishment of the Geneva Convention, the first national societies were founded in Belgium, Denmark, France, Oldenburg, Prussia, Spain, and Württemberg. Also in 1864, Louis Appia and Charles van de Velde, a captain of the Dutch Army, became the first independent and neutral delegates to work under the symbol of the Red Cross in an armed conflict. Three years later in 1867, the first International Conference of National Aid Societies for the Nursing of the War Wounded was convened.

Also in 1867, Henry Dunant was forced to declare bankruptcy due to business failures in Algeria, partly because he had neglected his business interests during his tireless activities for the International Committee. Controversy surrounding Dunants business dealings and the resulting negative public opinion, combined with an ongoing conflict with Gustave Moynier, led to Dunants expulsion from his position as a member and secretary. He was charged with fraudulent bankruptcy and a warrant for his arrest was issued. Thus, he was forced to leave Geneva and never returned to his home city. In the following years, national societies were founded in nearly every country in Europe. In 1876, the committee adopted the name International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is still its official designation today. Five years later, the American Red Cross was founded through the efforts of Clara Barton. More and more countries signed the Geneva Convention and began to respect it in practice during armed conflicts. In a rather short period of time, the Red Cross gained huge momentum as an internationally respected movement, and the national societies became increasingly popular as a venue for volunteer work.

When the first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1901, the Norwegian Nobel Committee opted to give it jointly to Henry Dunant and FrÃdÃric Passy, a leading international pacifist. More significant than the honor of the prize itself, the official congratulation from the International Committee of the Red Cross marked the overdue rehabilitation of Henry Dunant and represented a tribute to his key role in the formation of the Red Cross. Dunant died nine years later in the small Swiss health resort of Heiden. Only two months earlier his long-standing adversary Gustave Moynier had also died, leaving a mark in the history of the Committee as its longest-serving president ever.

In 1906, the 1864 Geneva Convention was revised for the first time. One year later, the Hague Convention X, adopted at the Second International Peace Conference in The Hague, extended the scope of the Geneva Convention to naval warfare. Shortly before the beginning of the First World War in 1914, 50 years after the foundation of the ICRC and the adoption of the first Geneva Convention, there were already 45 national relief societies throughout the world. The movement had extended itself beyond Europe and North America to Central and South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Uruguay, Venezuela), Asia (the Republic of China, Japan, Korea, Siam), and Africa (South Africa).

World War I

French postcard celebrating the role of Red Cross nurses during the First World War, 1915.

With the outbreak of World War I, the ICRC found itself confronted with enormous challenges which it could only handle by working closely with the national Red Cross societies. Red Cross nurses from around the world, including the United States and Japan, came to support the medical services of the armed forces of the European countries involved in the war. On 15 October 1914, immediately after the start of the war, the ICRC set up its International Prisoners-of-War (POW) Agency, which had about 1,200 mostly volunteer staff members by the end of 1914. By the end of the war, the Agency had transferred about 20million letters and messages, 1.9million parcels, and about 18million Swiss francs in monetary donations to POWs of all affected countries. Furthermore, due to the intervention of the Agency, about 200,000 prisoners were exchanged between the warring parties, released from captivity and returned to their home country. The organizational card index of the Agency accumulated about 7 million records from 1914 to 1923, each card representing an individual prisoner or missing person. The card index led to the identification of about 2million POWs and the ability to contact their families. The complete index is on loan today from the ICRC to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva. The right to access the index is still strictly restricted to the ICRC.

During the entire war, the ICRC monitored warring parties’ compliance with the Geneva Conventions of the 1907 revision and forwarded complaints about violations to the respective country. When chemical weapons were used in this war for the first time in history, the ICRC vigorously protested against this new type of warfare. Even without having a mandate from the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC tried to ameliorate the suffering of civil populations. In territories that were officially designated as occupied territories, the ICRC could assist the civilian population on the basis of the Hague Conventions Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907. This convention was also the legal basis for the ICRCs work for prisoners of war. In addition to the work of the International Prisoner-of-War Agency as described above this included inspection visits to POW camps. A total of 524 camps throughout Europe were visited by 41 delegates from the ICRC until the end of the war.

Between 1916 and 1918, the ICRC published a number of postcards with scenes from the POW camps. The pictures showed the prisoners in day-to-day activities such as the distribution of letters from home. The intention of the ICRC was to provide the families of the prisoners with some hope and solace and to alleviate their uncertainties about the fate of their loved ones. After the end of the war, the ICRC organized the return of about 420,000 prisoners to their home countries. In 1920, the task of repatriation was handed over to the newly founded League of Nations, which appointed the Norwegian diplomat and scientist Fridtjof Nansen as its High Commissioner for Repatriation of the War Prisoners. His legal mandate was later extended to support and care for war refugees and displaced persons when his office became that of the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Nansen, who invented the Nansen passport for stateless refugees and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922, appointed two delegates from the ICRC as his deputies.

A year before the end of the war, the ICRC received the 1917 Nobel Peace Prize for its outstanding wartime work. It was the only Nobel Peace Prize awarded in the period from 1914 to 1918. In 1923, the Committee adopted a change in its policy regarding the selection of new members. Until then, only citizens from the city of Geneva could serve in the Committee. This limitation was expanded to include Swiss citizens. As a direct consequence of World War I, an additional protocol to the Geneva Convention was adopted in 1925 which outlawed the use of suffocating or poisonous gases and biological agents as weapons. Four years later, the original Convention was revised and the second Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War was established. The events of World War I and the respective activities of the ICRC significantly increased the reputation and authority of the Committee among the international community and led to an extension of its competencies.

As early as in 1934, a draft proposal for an additional convention for the protection of the civil population during an armed conflict was adopted by the International Red Cross Conference. Unfortunately, most governments had little interest in implementing this convention, and it was thus prevented from entering into force before the beginning of World War II.

World War II

Red Cross message from Åódź, Poland, 1940.

The legal basis of the work of the ICRC during World War II were the Geneva Conventions in their 1929 revision. The activities of the Committee were similar to those during World War I: visiting and monitoring POW camps, organizing relief assistance for civilian populations, and administering the exchange of messages regarding prisoners and missing persons. By the end of the war, 179 delegates had conducted 12,750 visits to POW camps in 41 countries. The Central Information Agency on Prisoners-of-War (Zentralauskunftsstelle für Kriegsgefangene) had a staff of 3,000, the card index tracking prisoners contained 45million cards, and 120million messages were exchanged by the Agency. One major obstacle was that the Nazi-controlled German Red Cross refused to cooperate with the Geneva statutes including blatant violations such as the deportation of Jews from Germany and the mass murders conducted in the concentration camps run by the German government. Moreover, two other main parties to the conflict, the Soviet Union and Japan, were not party to the 1929 Geneva Conventions and were not legally required to follow the rules of the conventions.

During the war, the ICRC failed to obtain an agreement with Nazi Germany about the treatment of detainees in concentration camps, and it eventually abandoned applying pressure to avoid disrupting its work with POWs. The ICRC also failed to develop a response to reliable information about the extermination camps and the mass killing of European Jews. This is still considered the greatest failure of the ICRC in its history. After November 1943, the ICRC achieved permission to send parcels to concentration camp detainees with known names and locations. Because the notices of receipt for these parcels were often signed by other inmates, the ICRC managed to register the identities of about 105,000 detainees in the concentration camps and delivered about 1.1million parcels, primarily to the camps Dachau, Buchenwald, Ravensbrück, and Sachsenhausen.[8]

Marcel Junod, delegate of the ICRC, visiting POWs in Germany.
( Benoit Junod, Switzerland)

Swiss historian Jean-Claude Favez, who conducted an 8-year review of the Red Cross records, says that even though the Red Cross knew by November 1942 about the Nazi’s annihilation plans for the Jews – and even discussed it with U.S. officials – the group did nothing to inform the public, maintaining silence even in the face of pleas by Jewish groups.

Because the Red Cross was based in Geneva and largely funded by the Swiss government, it was very sensitive to Swiss wartime attitudes and policies. On October 1942, the Swiss government and the Red Cross’ board of members vetoed a proposal by several Red Cross board members to condemn the persecution of civilians by the Nazis. For the rest of the war, the Red Cross took its cues from Switzerland in avoiding acts of opposition or confrontation with the Nazis.

A sick Polish survivor in the Hannover-Ahlem concentration camp receives medicine from a German Red Cross worker, April 1945

On 12 March 1945, ICRC president Jacob Burckhardt received a message from SS General Ernst Kaltenbrunner accepting the ICRCs demand to allow delegates to visit the concentration camps. This agreement was bound by the condition that these delegates would have to stay in the camps until the end of the war. Ten delegates, among them Louis Haefliger (Mauthausen Camp), Paul Dunant (Theresienstadt Camp) and Victor Maurer (Dachau Camp), accepted the assignment and visited the camps. Louis Haefliger prevented the forceful eviction or blasting of Mauthausen-Gusen by alerting American troops, thereby saving the lives of about 60,000 inmates. His actions were condemned by the ICRC because they were deemed as acting unduly on his own authority and risking the ICRCs neutrality. Only in 1990, his reputation was finally rehabilitated by ICRC president Cornelio Sommaruga.

In 1944, the ICRC received its second Nobel Peace Prize. As in World War I, it received the only Peace Prize awarded during the main period of war, 1939 to 1945. At the end of the war, the ICRC worked with national Red Cross societies to organize relief assistance to those countries most severely affected. In 1948, the Committee published a report reviewing its war-era activities from 1 September 1939 to 30 June 1947. Since January 1996, the ICRC archive for this period has been open to academic and public research.

After the Second World War

The ICRC Headquarters in Geneva.

On 12 August 1949, further revisions to the existing two Geneva Conventions were adopted. An additional convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, now called the second Geneva Convention, was brought under the Geneva Convention umbrella as a successor to the 1907 Hague Convention X. The 1929 Geneva convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War may have been the second Geneva Convention from a historical point of view (because it was actually formulated in Geneva), but after 1949 it came to be called the third Convention because it came later chronologically than the Hague Convention. Reacting to the experience of World War II, the Fourth Geneva Convention, a new Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, was established. Also, the additional protocols of 8 June 1977 were intended to make the conventions apply to internal conflicts such as civil wars. Today, the four conventions and their added protocols contain more than 600 articles, a remarkable expansion when compared to the mere 10 articles in the first 1864 convention.

In celebration of its centennial in 1963, the ICRC, together with the League of Red Cross Societies, received its third Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1993, non-Swiss individuals have been allowed to serve as Committee delegates abroad, a task which was previously restricted to Swiss citizens. Indeed, since then, the share of staff without Swiss citizenship has increased to about 35%.

On 16 October 1990, the UN General Assembly decided to grant the ICRC observer status for its assembly sessions and sub-committee meetings, the first observer status given to a private organization. The resolution was jointly proposed by 138 member states and introduced by the Italian ambassador, Vieri Traxler, in memory of the organizations origins in the Battle of Solferino. An agreement with the Swiss government signed on 19 March 1993, affirmed the already long-standing policy of full independence of the Committee from any possible interference by Switzerland. The agreement protects the full sanctity of all ICRC property in Switzerland including its headquarters and archive, grants members and staff legal immunity, exempts the ICRC from all taxes and fees, guarantees the protected and duty-free transfer of goods, services, and money, provides the ICRC with secure communication privileges at the same level as foreign embassies, and simplifies Committee travel in and out of Switzerland.

The ICRC continued its activities throughout the 1990s. It broke its customary media silence when it denounced the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. It struggled to prevent the crimes that happened in and around Srebrenica in 1995 but admitted, We must acknowledge that despite our efforts to help thousands of civilians forcibly expelled from the town and despite the dedication of our colleagues on the spot, the ICRCs impact on the unfolding of the tragedy was extremely limited.[9] It went public once again in 2007 to decry major human rights abuses by Burmas military government including forced labor, starvation, and murder of men, women, and children.[10]

Fatalities

At the end of the Cold War, the ICRCs work actually became more dangerous. In the 1990s, more delegates lost their lives than at any point in its history, especially when working in local and internal armed conflicts. These incidents often demonstrated a lack of respect for the rules of the Geneva Conventions and their protection symbols. Among the slain delegates were:

  • FrÃdÃric Maurice. He died on 19 May 1992 at the age of 39, one day after a Red Cross transport he was escorting was attacked in the former Yugoslavian city of Sarajevo.
  • Fernanda Calado (Spain), Ingeborg Foss (Norway), Nancy Malloy (Canada), Gunnhild Myklebust (Norway), Sheryl Thayer (New Zealand), and Hans Elkerbout (Netherlands). They were murdered at point-blank range while sleeping in the early hours of 17 December 1996 in the ICRC field hospital in the Chechen city of Nowije Atagi near Grozny. Their murderers have never been caught and there was no apparent motive for the killings.
  • Rita Fox (Switzerland), VÃronique Saro (Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire), Julio Delgado (Colombia), Unen Ufoirworth (DR Congo), Aduwe Boboli (DR Congo), and Jean Molokabonge (DR Congo). On 26 April 2001, they were en route with two cars on a relief mission in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo when they came under fatal fire from unknown attackers.
  • Ricardo Munguia (El Salvador). He was working as a water engineer in Afghanistan and travelling with local colleagues when their car was stopped by unknown armed men. He was killed execution-style at point-blank range while his colleagues were allowed to escape. He died at the age of 39.
  • Vatche Arslanian (Canada). Since 2001, he worked as a logistics coordinator for the ICRC mission in Iraq. He died when he was travelling through Baghdad together with members of the Iraqi Red Crescent. Their car accidentally came into the crossfire of fighting in the city.
  • Nadisha Yasassri Ranmuthu (Sri Lanka). He was killed by unknown attackers on 22 July 2003, when his car was fired upon near the city of Hilla in the south of Baghdad.
  • Emmerich Pregetter (Austria). He was an ICRC Logistics Specialist who was killed by a swarm of killer bees on August 11, 2008. Emmerich was participating in a field trip along with the ICRC Water and Habitat team on a convoy which was delivering construction material for reconstruction of a rural surgical health clinic in the area of Jebel Marra, West Darfur, Sudan.

The Holocaust

By taking part in the 1995 ceremony to commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the President of the ICRC, Cornelio Sommaruga, sought to show that the organization was fully aware of the gravity of The Holocaust and the need to keep the memory of it alive, so as to prevent any repetition of it. He paid tribute to all those who had suffered or lost their lives during the war and publicly regretted the past mistakes and shortcomings of the Red Cross with regard to the victims of the concentration camps.[11]

In 2002, an ICRC official outlined some of the lessons the organization has learned from the failure:

  • from a legal point of view, the work that led to the adoption of the Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war;
  • from an ethical point of view, the adoption of the declaration of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, building on the distinguished work of Max Huber and Jean Pictet, to prevent any more abuses such as those that occurred within the Movement after Hitler rose to power in 1933;
  • on a political level, the ICRCs relationship with Switzerland was redesigned to ensure its independence;
  • with a view to keeping memories alive, the ICRC accepted, in 1955, to take over the direction of the International Tracing Service where records from concentration camps are maintained;
  • finally, to establish the historical facts of the case, the ICRC invited Jean-Claude Favez to carry out an independent investigation of its activities on behalf of the victims of Nazi persecution, and gave him unfettered access to its archives relating to this period; out of concern for transparency, the ICRC also decided to give all other historians access to its archives dating back more than 50 years; having gone over the conclusions of Favezs work, the ICRC acknowledged its past failings and expressed its regrets in this regard.[12]

In an official statement made on 27 January 2005, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the ICRC stated:

Auschwitz also represents the greatest failure in the history of the ICRC, aggravated by its lack of decisiveness in taking steps to aid the victims of Nazi persecution. This failure will remain part of the ICRCs memory, as will the courageous acts of individual ICRC delegates at the time.[13]

Characteristics

The original motto of the International Committee of the Red Cross was Inter Arma Caritas (Amidst War, Charity). It has preserved this motto while other Red Cross organizations have adopted others. Due to Genevas location in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the ICRC is also known under its initial French name Comità international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR). However, the ICRC has four official languages (Arabic, English, French and Spanish). The official symbol of the ICRC is the Red Cross on white background (the inverse of the Swiss flag) with the words COMITE INTERNATIONAL GENEVE circling the cross.

Neutrality and Embracing the diversity

Under the Geneva Convention, the red cross, red crescent and red crystal emblems provide protection for military medical services and relief workers in armed conflicts and is to be placed on humanitarian and medical vehicles and buildings. The original emblem that has a red cross on a white background is the exact reverse of the flag of neutral Switzerland. It was later supplemented by two others which are the Red Crescent, and the Red Crystal. The Red Crescent was adopted by the Ottoman empire during the Russo-Turkish war and the Red Crystal by the governments in 2005, as an additional emblem devoid of any national, political or religious connotation.[14]

Mission

The official mission statement says that: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It also directs and coordinates international relief and works to promote and strengthen humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.[15] The core tasks of the Committee, which are derived from the Geneva Conventions and its own statutes ([2]), are the following:

  • to monitor compliance of warring parties with the Geneva Conventions
  • to organize nursing and care for those who are wounded on the battlefield
  • to supervise the treatment of prisoners of war and make confidential interventions with detaining authorities
  • to help with the search for missing persons in an armed conflict (tracing service)
  • to organize protection and care for civil populations
  • to act as a neutral intermediary between warring parties

The ICRC drew up seven fundamental principles in 1965 that were adopted by the entire Red Cross Movement.[16] They are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, volunteerism, unity, and universality.[17]

Legal status

ICRC is the only institution explicitly named under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) as a controlling authority. The legal mandate of the ICRC stems from the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as its own Statutes. The ICRC also undertakes tasks that are not specifically mandated by law, such as visiting political prisoners outside of conflict and providing relief in natural disasters.

The ICRC is a private association registered in Switzerland that has enjoyed various degrees of special privileges and legal immunities within the territory of Switzerland for many years[when?]. On 19 March 1993, a legal foundation for this special treatment was created by a formal agreement between the Swiss government and the ICRC. This agreement protects the full sanctity of all ICRC property in Switzerland including its headquarters and archive, grants members and staff legal immunity, exempts the ICRC from all taxes and fees, guarantees the protected and duty-free transfer of goods, services, and money, provides the ICRC with secure communication privileges at the same level as foreign embassies, and simplifies Committee travel in and out of Switzerland. On the other hand Switzerland does not recognize ICRC issued passports.[18]

Contrary to popular belief, the ICRC is not a sovereign entity like the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and also it is not an international organization, neither of non-governmental nor of governmental type. The ICRC limits its membership to Swiss nationals only, and also unlike most NGOs[citation needed] it does not have a policy of open and unrestricted membership for individuals as its new members are selected by the Committee itself (a process called cooptation). However, since the early 1990s, the ICRC employs persons from all over the world to serve in its field mission and at Headquarters. In 2007, almost half of ICRC staff was non-Swiss. The ICRC has special privileges and legal immunities in many countries,[which?] based on national law in these countries, based on agreements between the ICRC and the respective governments, or, in some cases, based on international jurisprudence (such as the right of ICRC delegates not to bear witness in front of international tribunals).

Legal Basis

ICRC operations are generally based on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, their two Additional Protocols of 1977 and Additional Protocol III of 2005, the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.[19]

International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Treaties and Customary Law International Humanitarian Law is a set of rules that come into effect in armed conflicts. It aims to minimize the harms of an armed conflict by imposing obligations and duties to those who participate in armed conflicts. IHL mainly deals with two parts, the protection of persons who are not, or no longer taking part in fighting and restrictions on the means and methods of warfare such as weapons and tactics.[20] IHL is founded upon Geneva conventions which were first signed in 1864 by 16 countries. Traditions and Customs had governed the conduct of war until then, which varied depending on the location and time. The First Geneva Convention of 1949 covers the protection for the wounded and sick of armed conflict on land. The Second Geneva Convention asks for the protection and care for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked of armed conflict at sea. The Third Geneva Convention emphasizes the treatment of prisoners of war. The Fourth Geneva Convention concerns the protection of civilians in time of war. In addition, there are many more body of Customary International Laws(CIL) that come into effect when necessary.

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Red Cross: Syria is now in civil war, Humanitarian Law applies Published 15 July 2012 1300GMT/UTC

UN Conference failed to reach agreement on a treaty that would regulate the global trade in arms Red Cross (ICRC) disappointed Published 29 July 2012 1825GMT/UTC

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UN Conference failed to reach agreement on a treaty that would regulate the global trade in arms – Red Cross (ICRC) disappointed – Published 29 July 2012 1825 GMT/UTC

Geneva/New York (ICRC) – The United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which ended on 27 July in New York, failed to reach agreement on a treaty that would regulate the global trade in arms. The conference did, however, demonstrate that an overwhelming majority of States support a norm requiring States not to transfer conventional weapons to those who are likely to use them to commit war crimes or serious violations of international human rights law

“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is disappointed that States were unable to adopt an Arms Trade Treaty as hoped,” said Peter Herby, the head of the Arms Unit at the ICRC. “In our view, the text of the final draft treaty presented by the President of the Diplomatic Conference, Ambassador Roberto García Moritán was a strong response to the humanitarian problem and a reasonable compromise.”

That text would have required States Parties to assess the risk that the conventional arms and ammunition they transfer would be used to commit serious violations of humanitarian law and human rights law – and to deny a transfer if an overriding risk exists. This assessment criterion is one of the main provisions that the ICRC has been advocating.

“An effective Arms Trade Treaty that protects civilians from the devastating consequences of inadequately regulated arms transfers remains as urgently needed as ever,” Mr Herby stressed. “Indeed, it remains a humanitarian imperative. The ICRC is committed to continuing to work with States, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as with the United Nations and other organizations, to ensure that a robust Arms Trade Treaty is adopted in the near future.”

As long as arms transfers remain insufficiently regulated, people will continue to suffer the consequences, which are incalculable. The ICRC calls on all States to implement, on a national and regional basis, the strict measures they were prepared to adopt in New York and to conclude negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty as a matter of urgency.

The ICRC has been calling for strict controls on international arms transfers since 1999, following a study requested by States party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The study, which was based on the ICRC’s field experience, demonstrated that unregulated availability of weapons could exacerbate existing tensions, facilitate the indiscriminate use of weapons and increase civilian casualties. The absence of strict controls also makes it easier to commit violations of humanitarian law and threatens the provision of humanitarian assistance.

Red Cross: Syria is now in civil war, Humanitarian Law applies – Published 15 July 2012 1300 GMT/UTC

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Sunday it now considers the conflict in Syria a civil war, meaning international humanitarian law applies throughout the country.

The Geneva-based group’s assessment is an important reference that helps parties in a conflict determine how much and what type of force they can or cannot use.

ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said Sunday that the humanitarian law now applies wherever hostilities are taking place in Syria, where fighting has spread beyond the hotspots of Idlib, Homs and Hama.

International humanitarian law grants parties to a conflict the right to use appropriate force to achieve their aims. But attacks on civilians and abuse or killing of detainees can constitute war crimes.

The declaration came as Syria denied U.N. claims that government forces used heavy weapons during a military operation that has brought widespread international condemnation against President Bashar Assad’s regime. – MSNBC

Basic rules of International Humanitarian Law

  1. Persons hors de combat (outside of combat) and those not taking part in hostilities shall be protected and treated humanely.
  2. It is forbidden to kill or injure an enemy who surrenders or who is hors de combat.
  3. The wounded and sick shall be cared for and protected by the party to the conflict which has them in its power. The emblem of the “Red Cross,” or of the “Red Crescent,” shall be required to be respected as the sign of protection.
  4. Captured combatants and civilians must be protected against acts of violence and reprisals. They shall have the right to correspond with their families and to receive relief.
  5. No one shall be subjected to torture, corporal punishment or cruel or degrading treatment.
  6. Parties to a conflict and members of their armed forces do not have an unlimited choice of methods and means of warfare.
  7. Parties to a conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants. Attacks shall be directed solely against military objectives.

ICRC: What is international humanitarian law? PDF format (33kb)

Syria: ICRC urges full respect for international humanitarian law July 31, 2012

  • As the armed conflict in Syria escalates and takes a heavy toll on civilians, the ICRC is appealing to all parties to the conflict to fully respect the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, which is commonly known as the laws of war.

Related:

Geneva Conventions

Hague Conventions