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Violence after Kenyan elections – 11 dead

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AFP) — Kenya's defeated o pposition coalition vowed yesterday they would not halt their bid to overturn a “sham” election result, which sparked violent protests that have left 11 people dead.

Protests flared in opposition bastions as soon as President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the victor on Friday night after an election his rival Raila Odinga claimed was massively rigged.

Kenya is no stranger to post-election violence, and scars still run deep from a disputed 2007 vote which led to two months of ethno-political clashes, leaving 1,100 dead and 600,000 displaced.

However, protests remained isolated yesterday, with several hundred demonstrators engaging in running battles with police who quickly dispersed what Interior Minister Fred Matiangi referred to as “criminal elements”.

Eight bodies have been taken to the Nairobi city morgue, most of them with gunshot wounds, from the protest-hit slums of Mathare, Kibera and Kawangware since Friday night, a senior police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Yesterday, an AFP photographer saw the body of a young girl whose family said she had been shot in the back while watching the protests from their balcony in Mathare.

A police officer said a man had been shot dead in a demonstration in the southwestern town of Siaya, and local government official Wilson Njega confirmed one person had been shot dead outside Kisumu in protests.

The Doctors without Borders (MSF) charity said on Twitter that it had treated 54 wounded in its clinics.

The opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) has not laid out its plans, but has refused to take its grievances to court and said yesterday they would not back down.

“We will not be cowed, we will not relent,” NASA official Johnson Muthama told reporters, describing a police crackdown on protests as an effort to force the coalition “into submission”.

“We wish to assure the people that we have the will, the determination, and the means to make sure your vote will count at the end of the day,” he said.

Muthama claimed that some 100 people had been killed, without providing evidence. According to an AFP tally, 17 people have died in election-related violence since Wednesday.

Matiangi denied there had been any casualties, and said police had clamped down on “erratic incidents of lawlessness”, adding the government would stop at nothing to protect citizens.

“The police have not used live bullets on any peaceful protesters,” he said.

Human Rights Watch yesterday urged police to show restraint.

“The police should not use tear gas or live ammunition simply because they consider a gathering unlawful,” said Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at HRW.

Odinga, 72, has not yet addressed his supporters after losing his fourth shot at the presidency. He believes elections in 2007, 2013 and now 2017 were snatched away from him.

He laid out accusations of a massive hacking attack on election commission servers, and said they had evidence the true results — which showed him to be the winner — were being hidden.

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