Red Cross says no ambulances will be used by ‘police officers’ during protests
The Kenya Red Cross has denied claims that its services have been compromised and that they will be used by goons posing as medical personnel during demonstrations.
Kenya Red Cross was responding to allegations by the Azimio la Umoja camp that some Red Cross branded merchandise were being used by goons to attack Azimio protesters.
“The Kenya Red Cross and the whole Red Cross Movement has a long history of providing aid and assistance to civilians in need, not harming them. Any accusations to the contrary, such as this one, are false and unfounded,” the humanitarian organization said.
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Their response came after Azimio TV tweeted and insinuated that some Red Cross tents were being used as traps to arrest and/or harm Azimio supporters.
“People are at vigilance house being dressed as police officers yet they are all criminals who will be deployed to Kibra, Kawangware, Jacaranda, Mathare and Kangemi. Red Cross and other emergency responders don’t allow your services to be corrupted and used to kill Kenyans,” the tweet read.
We appeal to all Kenyans to continue assisting all humanitarian and medical workers by allowing safe access and facilitating the movement of vehicles and staff. #NotATarget @Ma3Route pic.twitter.com/P1OzPdySqh
— Kenya Redcross Nairobi Branch (@Krcs_NRbBranch) March 29, 2023
The statement from Red Cross comes days after gunmen stepped out of a vehicle camouflaged as an ambulance from St Mary’s Hospital and fired teargas canisters at Azimio protesters.
Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga said the incident contravenes the respect for and protection of medical transports under the Geneva Convention as well as the Agreement on the Application of International Humanitarian Law.
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“In law this is called the crime of perfidy since they were criminals riding in ambulances attacking peaceful protesters. Medical transportation may in no circumstances be used to shield combatants, military objectives, or operations from attack,” he said.
Mr Odinga has vowed to sustain the biweekly protests against President William Ruto’s administration to address the high cost of living and electoral reforms.