ICRC raises concerns about Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- An outbreak of violence in Madagascar's capital has prompted concerns from the International Committee of the Red Cross about a possible humanitarian crisis.

A week of anti-government protests that turned violent and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 100 people has raised concerns about a humanitarian situation in the Indian Ocean country. Olivier Gillabert, head of the ICRC mission in Madagascar, said the Red Cross is urgently working to address escalating humanitarian needs, the ICRC reported.


Gillabert said the ICRC is working with the local Malagasy Red Cross Society to evacuate injured people as a result of the violence, looting and fires in Madagascar.

A curfew imposed by security authorities in the country has quieted some of the violence, but Gillabert said aid workers are in "urgent need of first aid materials, stretchers and medical supplies, so they can continue to stabilize the injured and evacuate them to health centers," the release said.

The protests drew criticism on Monday from African Union Chairman and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who called the efforts to remove a democratically elected government unacceptable.

Gillabert said aid workers are monitoring the evolving situation and remain on alert.


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