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Tanzania / Kenya: Helping victims of Zanzibar violence

08-02-2001 News Release 01/05

After four days of political clashes on the Tanzanian islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, between 25 and 28 January, local health-care authorities reported more than 30 persons killed and many injured. The Red Cross Societies of Tanzania and Kenya, together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the ICRC have been aiding the victims in both countries, hundreds having fled to Kenya.

On Pemba, where most of the clashes occurred, the ICRC has provided 1.7 tonnes of medical supplies to the Ministry of Health for use in the three hospitals. First-aid kits and stretchers have been distributed to the Red Cross workers to assist injured people who have refused to go to hospital for fear of being arrested.

As a result of the violence and the flight of refugees to Kenya, many people have lost track of loved ones. The first Red Cross Messages have now been collected from refugees and will be distributed in the coming days to anxious relatives on the islands.

In the Kenyan coastal village of Shimoni, over 500 refugees from Pemba were provided with tents, tarpaulins and blankets by the Kenyan Red Cross Society while the ICRC supplied a one-week food ration (1.5 kg of peas, 1.4 kg of maize, and half a litre of vegetable oil per person) and cooking utensils.

Injured people arriving in Shimoni were taken to the nearest hospital, in Msambweni 15 km away, which has received a surgical kit and two dressing kits from the ICRC.