Eleven dead in Kenya as post-election riots flare

Reuters, NAIROBI and KISUMU, Kenya

Sun, Aug 13, 2017 - Page 1

Police killed at least 11 people in a crackdown on protests as anger at the re-election of Kenyan 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 taken to the city morgue, a security official told reporters.

Separately, a young girl in Mathare was killed by police firing “sporadic shots,” a witness said.

The neighborhood is loyal to 72-year-old opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose party rejected Tuesday’s vote as a “charade.”

A reporter in Kisumu, center of post-election ethnic violence a decade ago in which 1,200 people died nationwide, said tear gas and live rounds were fired.

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

The Kenyan Elections Observation Group yesterday said its tally matched the official outcome.

Kenyan Minister of the Interior Fred Matiang’i defended the police against accusations of brutality.

“Let us be honest — there are no demonstrations happening,” he told reporters.

As with previous votes in 2007 and 2013, this year’s elections have exposed underlying ethnic tensions.

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

Top Odinga lieutenant James Orengo said his coalition 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.