Published: 27 Jan 2013 17:48 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 27 Jan 2013 17:48 GMT+01:00
The head of the Geneva-based Red Cross has voiced his deep concern about the humanitarian situation in Mali, where French-led forces have been waging an offensive against Islamist groups in the north for over two weeks.
"Mali is one of the most profound humanitarian crises which we are dealing with today," Peter Maurer, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, told Switzerland's SonntagsZeitung in an interview published on Sunday.
"The situation concerns us greatly," Maurer said.
"Thousands of people and families have been driven out into neighbouring countries since the outbreak of fighting and are heavily dependent on humanitarian aid," he said.
The ICRC is concentrating its efforts in the north of the country, where it is providing food for 500,000 people and has set up 10 health centres.
"Given the escalating violence and the many different factions involved in the conflict, the work is very difficult for us," Maurer said.
On Friday, the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva said 9,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries since French-led troops launched an offensive against Islamists in northern Mali on January 11th.
According to UNHCR figures, the total number of refugees in the region now exceeds 150,000 while about 230,000 are internally displaced.
"We are ready to expand our activities in Mali," Maurer said.
More than 250 people took part in a march in Lausanne on Monday afternoon to protest against the judicial system in the wake of the death of Marie, a 19-year-old woman killed last Wednesday after being kidnapped. READ () »
In a surprise result, Zurich-based football club Grasshopper beat defending champions FC Basel on penalty kicks on Monday to gain the 19th Swiss Cup victory in its history. READ () »
After going undefeated throughout the world ice hockey championship tournament, Switzerland finally succumbed to home town favorite Sweden in the final, losing 5-1 in Stockholm on Sunday. READ () »
Switzerland will play hosts Sweden in the final of the world ice hockey championships on Sunday after each side registered a 3-0 semi-final victory over the United States and Finland respectively. READ () »
Jewellery worth more than $1 million made by Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweller Chopard and due to be loaned to stars walking the red carpet at the Cannes film festival were stolen from a hotel, French police said on Friday. READ () »
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang embarks this weekend on his first foreign trip since taking office, with a stop in Switzerland on the itinerary and free trade talks between the two countries close to completion. READ () »
The Salvation Army band carrying Switzerland’s hopes into the Eurovision Song Contest was vanquished on Thursday night in Malmö, Sweden. READ () »
More than a third of Geneva’s active working population lives outside the canton, with the majority residing in neighbouring France and the rest largely in the canton of Vaud, according to a report issued on Thursday. READ () »
International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid can count on the support of the Swiss federation in his bid for re-election, the sport's global governing body said on Thursday. READ () »
Switzerland headed to the world ice hockey championship semifinals after a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic on Thursday in Stockholm. READ () »