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Kenya Red Cross responds to election crisis

03-01-2008 Interview

Abbas Gullet, Secretary-General of the Kenya Red Cross, speaks briefly about the crisis from Nairobi, as he helps to coordinate relief efforts in the capital.

   

   
 
Abbas Gullet    
       
   
 
  Read also the interview with Pascal Cuttat, ICRC head of delegation in Nairobi.    
       

 Is the violence in Kenya still continuing?  

Today has not been a good day in Nairobi with running battles between police and people on the streets following the government's banning of the planned opposition rally. Ambulances belonging to the Kenya Red Cross have been out on the streets of the city all morning picking up the injured and some dead bodies as well. According to reports, there continue to be pockets of violence in many other parts of the country as well.

 What are the humanitarian consequences of this crisis throughout the country?  

The consequences are dramatic and might even be described as catastrophic. A major concern is the lack of accessibility to many areas of the country. We are hoping and praying that the situation will become calmer and that the authorities will find a way through. In areas where the Kenya Red Cross can operate we have been evacuating the injured and recovering the dead. We are hoping that when things normalize a bit we will be able to broaden out activities to bring assistance to people.

 What are the immediate priorities for the Kenya Red Cross?  

Medical assistance remains the priority for now. But we estimate that around 500,000 people country-wide have been uprooted by this violence. When there is improved access we will need to supply these people with food, water and shelter.

See also the Kenya Red Cross Society web site