Six children, out of the 103 caught up in the Arche de Zoe affair, rejoined their families in Sudan today, under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
An ICRC plane took the children from Abeche, in Chad, to Al Junainah, the capital of West Darfur, near the Sudanese-Chadian border. There they were handed over to their waiting parents.
The reunion took place at the request of the children's families, and with the formal consent of the Sudanese and Chadian authorities. In accordance with the ICRC's standard working procedures, the identities of the children and their parents were verified, and the best interests of the children taken into account. The ICRC's sub-delegation in Al Junainah was in regular contact with the children's families for several months.
The ICRC registers unaccompanied children in camps for refugees and internally displaced persons in Sudan, Chad and other countries. Whenever possible, it reunites them with their families. Throughout this process, the ICRC works transparently with all concerned authorities.
In Sudan and in Chad, the ICRC's tracing department also restores links between family members who have lost contact with one another as a result of the conflict and of other situations of violence. It does so by tracing missing family members and by collecting and distributing Red Cross messages.
Through its humanitarian action, the ICRC aims to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting respect for international humanitarian law.