The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is attempting to establish relations with the Islamic State group in the hopes of delivering aid to the ten million men and women living below its handle.
“Yes, we are of course hunting at developing a connection [with IS],” the charity’s director-basic Yves Daccord said.
“We have a quite clear humanitarian vision. 1st, what we see is 10 million individuals. Ten million individuals under the control of the Islamic State group [in Iraq and Syria].
“We are interested in these 10 million individuals. What happens to them? What are their troubles? This is what will guide us.”
The comments were produced ahead of an agency conference in Geneva, held each and every 4 years, which gathers some two,000 ICRC staff and national Red Cross/Red Crescent staffers for talks on the challenges facing humanitarian workers in increasingly complex environments.
Mr Daccord said the emergence of armed groups which at instances disregard the need for life-saving help was one of the threats facing the ICRC and groups like it.
He added that organisations searching for to help civilians engulfed by conflict would increasingly want to connect with such groups, regardless of their ideology.
An actor like the ICRC, what we have to do is we truly have to be definitely, deeply humanitarian. No social agenda, no alter agenda …You may possibly have an opinion, but that’s not the dilemma.
ICRC Director-Basic Yves Daccord
“My sense is, most of the international organisations will have to possibly rethink about how they operate in these areas, otherwise they won’t be in a position to [work],” he said.
The ultimate objective is “to operate in close proximity” with these who want help, and to do that, organisations have to “speak to everybody”, Mr Daccord explained.
“You cannot just come from Geneva and count on armed groups to let you operate,” he mentioned.
“You do not construct acceptance from Boko Haram or any armed group in Syria in 1 day. It requires a lot of time and you have to have the proper folks.”
Mr Daccord said it took several years of outreach to Boko Haram just before the ICRC was capable to work in the extremist group’s north-east Nigeria strongholds.
Though perhaps significantly less high-profile than IS, Boko Haram’s atrocities are unrivalled, including the repeated use of children as suicide bombers and numerous massacres and abductions targeting students.
“An actor like the ICRC, what we have to do is we really have to be absolutely, deeply humanitarian. No social agenda, no modify agenda … You might have an opinion, but that’s not the issue,” Mr Daccord said.
To operate in Boko Haram or IS places, an organisation need to be observed as completely “non-partisan”, he stated.
Red Cross faced ‘unprecedented losses’ in Syria
From air strikes on hospitals, to kidnappings targeting help workers, the ICRC has warned of the shrinking space for relief agencies in conflict.
Senior humanitarian leaders have also decried the waning respect for international humanitarian law, such as the Geneva conventions.
Wars have turn into “much more atrocious in the human suffering they generate”, ICRC president Peter Maurer mentioned in a statement ahead of the conference.
Mr Daccord said it was challenging to evaluate the current era to previous periods in terms of threats facing aid workers.
But he said that in Syria, devastated by a 4-year civil war, the Red Cross has suffered unprecedented losses, with 49 volunteers from the Syrian Red Crescent killed.
“We’ve never ever seen that in our recent history,” Mr Daccord mentioned.
Red Cross workers are also becoming held hostage in Syria and Yemen, where a number of other members of the organisation have also been killed.
Mr Daccord also pointed to what he termed a clear rise in the quantity of wellness workers and wellness facilities targeted in conflict as further proof of the narrowing humanitarian space in war.
“Envision the world in which we will operate if we have no space for men and women to be treated,” Mr Daccord said.
Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, government-and-politics, syrian-arab-republic, iraq, yemen