Updated Apr 2, 2022 - World

Red Cross evacuation convoy struggling to reach Mariupol

Passengers disembark as a convoy of 30 buses carrying evacuees from Mariupol and Melitopol arrive at the registration center in Zaporizhzhia, on April 1, 2022
Passengers disembark as a convoy of 30 buses carrying evacuees from Mariupol and Melitopol arrive at the registration center in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on April 1. Photo: Emre Caylak/AFP via Getty Images

A Red Cross convoy on Saturday that is attempting to evacuate Ukrainian civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol has not yet reached the port city, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson told CNN.

The latest: The team is "spending the night en route to Mariupol and are yet to reach the city," the spokesperson said, per CNN.

Driving the news: The ICRC team of three vehicles and nine personnel tried on Friday to help citizens leave, but "arrangements and conditions made it impossible to proceed," according to a statement.

  • "They will try again on Saturday to facilitate the safe passage of civilians from Mariupol," the group said.

The big picture: The port city of Mariupol has faced weeks of Russian military bombardment. Officials say thousands of people remain trapped, with food, water and medicine in short supply.

  • A humanitarian corridor has been planned for Saturday to help people evacuating by private transport from Mariupol and by buses for Mariupol residents out of the city of Berdyansk, Reuters reports.
  • "For the operation to succeed, it is critical that the parties respect the agreements and provide the necessary conditions and security guarantees," the ICRC said.

What they're saying: "There is no Plan B here, we have been working for weeks and telling the media about our efforts to get into Mariupol with aid and to allow the safe passage of civilians out of the city," an ICRC spokesperson told journalists in Geneva, according to the United Nations.

  • "Time is running out for the people of Mariupol."

Go deeper: In photos: Mariupol devastated after weeks of Russian bombardment

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information on the International Committee for the Red Cross's efforts to reach Mariupol.

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