Red Cross visits 12 kidnapped by Senegal rebels

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that they visited 12 employees of a South African bomb disposal firm currently being held by rebels from the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance.

The employees, all of whom are Senegalese nationals, were grabbed on May 3 in southern Senegal’s Casamance region, where they were helping clear mines for Denel Mechem, a South African firm which began working in the area in July 2012.

Delegation head Thierry Parodi said Wednesday that the Red Cross was able to speak with the detainees in private and were able to give them writing material so that they could send messages to their families. They also brought them hygiene items, sleeping mats and blankets.

The rebels have not made their demands public.

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