Geneva (ICRC) - Martin Schuepp, ICRC Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia: Amid devastating scenes of human suffering in Mariupol, a second attempt today to start evacuating an estimated 200,000 people out of the city came to a halt. The failed attempts yesterday and today underscore the absence of a detailed and functioning agreement between the parties to the conflict.
The ICRC is not and cannot in any way be the guarantor of a ceasefire agreement between the parties or of its implementation. As a neutral and impartial humanitarian intermediary, the ICRC has been facilitating the dialogue between the parties on the safe passage of civilians.
For the safe passage of civilians to happen with the required levels of trust, the parties should agree between themselves not just in principle but also on the details and parameters. In particular:
• The specific time, locations, evacuation routes and other logistical details
• The people who may be voluntarily evacuated
• Whether the agreement also allows assistance to be brought into cities
In addition, the ICRC needs satisfactory security guarantees in order to operate. Today, our teams began opening up the evacuation route from Mariupol before hostilities resumed. Our teams remain in Mariupol and are ready to help facilitate further attempts if the parties reach a detailed agreement, which is for the parties alone to implement and respect.
We remind the parties that staff, vehicles and buildings bearing the Red Cross emblems are protected under international law, as are the emblems themselves which must not be misused.
We continue to remind the parties to the conflict of their obligations to respect international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.