11 killed as 'riots' flare | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 13, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:56 PM, August 12, 2017

POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE IN KENYA

11 killed as 'riots' flare

Kenyan police killed at least 11 people in a crackdown on protests as anger at the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta erupted in the western city of Kisumu and slums ringing the capital, officials and witnesses said yesterday.

The bodies of nine young men shot dead overnight in Nairobi's Mathare slum had been brought to the city morgue, a security official told Reuters. The men were killed during police anti-looting operations, the official added.

Separately, a young girl in Mathare was killed by police firing "sporadic shots", a witness said. The run-down neighbourhood is loyal to 72-year-old opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose party rejected Tuesday's vote as a "charade".

A woman cries during clashes in Kibera slum in Nairobi. Photo: Reuters, AFP

A Reuters reporter in Kisumu, centre of post-election ethnic violence a decade ago in which 1,200 people died nationwide, said tear gas and live rounds were fired. One man had been killed, a government official said.

The unrest erupted moments after Kenya's election commission announced late on Friday that Kenyatta, 55, had secured a second five-year term in office, despite opposition allegations that the tally was a fraud.

Anti riot policemen clash with protesters supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga in Mathare, in Nairobi. Photo: Reuters, AFP

Interior Minister Fred Matiang'i said the trouble was localised and blamed it on "criminal elements" rather than legitimate political protest.

Odinga's NASA coalition provided no evidence for its rejection of the result. Kenya's main monitoring group, ELOG, yesterday said its tally matched the official outcome, undermining NASA's allegations of fraud.

As with previous votes in 2007 and 2013, this year's elections have exposed the underlying ethnic tensions in the nation of 45 million, the economic engine of East Africa and the region's main trading hub.

Aid workers help wounded protesters. Photo: Reuters, AFP

In particular, Odinga's Luo tribe, who hail from the west, had hoped an Odinga presidency would have broken the Kikuyu and Kalenjin dominance of central government since independence in 1963. Kenyatta, son of Kenya's first president, is a Kikuyu.

Even before the declaration, Odinga's NASA coalition had rejected the outcome, saying the election commission's systems had been hacked, the count was irregular and foreign observers who gave the poll a clean bill of health were biased.

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta celebrates with Deputy President William Ruto after he was announced winner of the presidential election at the IEBC National Tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi, on Friday. Photo: Reuters, AFP

Top Odinga lieutenant James Orengo said NASA would not challenge the results in court - as Odinga did when he lost in 2013 - but hinted at mass action by praising the history of Kenyans in standing up to previous "stolen" elections.

"Going to court is not an option. We have been there before," Orengo told reporters.

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