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100 Killed As Kenya Election Riots Continue

From those poll watchers at the AFP:

A resident of Kibera and supporter of presidential candidate Raila Odinga holds a sign that reads “No Raila no peace in Kenya” during disturbances, after Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner in the Presidential race.

More than 100 killed as poll violence sweeps Kenya

by Michel Cariou Mon Dec 31

NAIROBI (AFP) – An eruption of fresh violence triggered by Kenya’s disputed presidential ballot left more than 100 dead Monday, after defeated opposition candidate Raila Odinga rejected Mwai Kibaki’s re-election.

Odinga had planned to hold his own alternative inauguration at a mass rally in Nairobi later Monday, a day after Kibaki was officially sworn in for a second term despite widespread allegations of vote-rigging.

But the opposition leader postponed the gathering until Thursday as violence flared across the country.

At least 64 people were killed overnight in western Kenya in fresh outbreaks of tribal unrest and clashes between police, looters and opposition activists.

Separate clashes in several Nairobi slums claimed a further 40 lives, said a senior police official.

At least 124 people have now been killed since Thursday’s elections, which have left one of Africa’s more stable democracies teetering on the brink of turmoil.

The government has enforced a ban on live television broadcasts related to the election in what it says is an effort to contain the violence.

“We know there are skirmishes in many parts of the country. We are fully cracking down and fully responding to every situation,” police spokesman Eric Kiraithe told AFP.

A total of 46 bodies were brought to the morgue in Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city and an Odinga stronghold, a mortuary attendant told AFP.

“These bodies were brought here overnight by police officers,” he said, adding that 20 of them had multiple bullet wounds.

Local police chief Grace Kaindi declined to comment on the number of dead, but acknowledged that police had opened fire on “looters” during the night.

Reporters were also shown seven other bodies in Kisumu’s main hospital waiting to be transferred to the morgue.

Police imposed a day-time curfew in the city, with an order to shoot violators.

“We are going to deal with them (rioters) ruthlessly,” said Michael Baraza, a top police commander in the region.

Another seven people were killed in clashes between rival political supporters in the town of Nakuru, and four in a village near Kapsabet, police said.

According to police, hundreds of houses have already been torched in the western Rift Valley province and fresh fighting broke out Monday in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum.

Opposition supporters there were trying to march towards the city centre where Odinga, a fiery 62-year-old former political prisoner, had planned to hold his alternative swearing-in ceremony presenting him to the nation as “the People’s President”.

Odinga, who has been threatened with arrest if the rally goes ahead, said he would postpone the event until Thursday and predicted that one million of his supporters would turn up.

“We are calling for mass action, peaceful mass action,” he told reporters.

The rage boiling over in the Odinga camp was in stark contrast to the celebrations that filled the streets of pro-Kibaki towns in central Kenya on Sunday, where revellers flooded local bars.

Kibaki called for a “national healing” process as he was sworn in.

“I urge all of us to set aside the passions that were excited by the election process, and work together as one people with the single purpose of building a strong, united, prosperous and equitable country,” he said.

The European Union’s team of election observers acknowledged fraud and questioned the accuracy of the ballot results.

“We regret that it has not been possible to address irregularities about which … (we) have evidence,” chief EU observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said in a statement.

Kibaki cancelled out Odinga’s lead in late vote-counting, even as more than half of his cabinet ministers were voted out of parliament.

Former colonial ruler Britain expressed “real concerns” at reported “irregularities.”

But in Washington, US State Department spokesman Rob McInturff congratulated Kibaki on his re-election and called on all sides to accept the results.

Think of all of the carbon that has been released since Mr. Gore established this precedence. Of course some people will seize upon any excuse to loot and murder.

But this is the brave new world the left envisions for us.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, December 31st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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