Conflicts & War

Red Cross face obstacles in evacuation of civilians from Mariupol

Geneva, Apr 1 (EFE).- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had not received details on the evacuation of civilians from the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, set to take place Friday, but remained hopeful.

“We do not have all the details to ensure that it will happen in a safe way today. It is not clear,” ICRC spokesperson Ewan Watson said.

Watson said an ICRC team had already left the town of Zaporizhia earlier Friday and was on its way to Mariupol.

“We are hopeful it will commence today,” he said, adding that they were waiting for confirmation that the temporary ceasefire would be respected for the opening of safe humanitarian corridors.

Watson said both Russian and Ukrainian authorities had given ICRC the green light to commence the evacuation but that they were waiting to ensure the information had been communicated to troops on the ground as well as civilians.

ICRC said it would play a “neutral intermediary” role in the evacuation of civilians from the strategic port city that has been under Russian siege for over a month.

Some 54 buses have been set up to transport civilians along an evacuation route yet to be decided on.

The body did not receive authorization to take humanitarian aid with the convoy.

Previous efforts for aid agencies to reach the encircled city have failed as well as numerous attempts of the evacuation of civilians due to continued shelling. EFE


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