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44 Killed Day After Kenya Peace Agreement

From those guilty colonialists at France’s AFP:

A Kenyan looks at the smoking remains of a gasoline tanker that was set on fire near the western town of Kericho.

Scores dead as clashes overshadow Kenya peace plans

by Bogonko Bosire

NAIROBI (AFP) – The death toll from ethnic fighting and a police crackdown in western Kenya rose to 44 Saturday, a day after the feuding political sides agreed to a framework to try to end weeks of violence.

Thirty-four people have died in fresh clashes, police said Saturday, including in western Nyanza province after fighting with machetes and poisoned arrows, and in clashes in Ainamoi, the home village of a slain opposition MP.

The deaths came after former UN chief Kofi Annan oversaw the signing of a first joint document between representatives of President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga since last month’s disputed election set off the bloodshed.

The deal marked out a joint roadmap to end, within two weeks, unrest that has claimed nearly 1,000 lives since the December 27 presidential polls…

The new roadmap said both sides would address the growing humanitarian crisis caused by the unrest, which has displaced up to 300,000 people.

It also pledged to resolve the political crisis created after Odinga accused Kibaki of having rigged the election to rob him of the presidency.

But it was unclear how political issues would be addressed, saying only that “its resolution may require adjustments to the current constitutional, legal and institutional frameworks”.

The opposition cautiously welcomed the deal…

Police said Saturday that 34 people had died in fresh violence in western Kenya, bringing the toll in the past 24 hours to 44.

Ethnic fighting between villagers armed with bows and arrows, spears and machetes has ballooned in the region since the killing of local opposition MP David Kimutai Too in Eldoret on Thursday.

Odinga said the lawmaker’s murder, and that of opposition MP Melitus Mugabe Were on Tuesday in Nairobi, were “part of a plot” to reduce his party’s majority in parliament…

“Seven were killed in Kapsoit” by police, a local commander told AFP, updating an earlier toll of 27 new deaths.

A total of 16 have been hacked to death or shot with poisoned arrows in Nyamira in western Nyanza province since Friday, another police commander told AFP.

“Six others were killed in (nearby) Chepilat — two shot by police and four hacked to death. Three others were hacked to death in Manga (also close by),” he said.

Local police commander Japheth Daido said two people had died overnight in Ainamoi, Too’s home village where thousands went on the rampage Friday, killing a policeman. He said eight others had also died there Friday.

Police also shot dead a demonstrator in the western opposition stronghold of Kisumu on Friday.

Police also said that arsonists burnt down a church overnight in the northwestern town of Eldoret, near where another church was razed on January 1, killing 35 people sheltering inside.

Again, one suspects the final solution will entail the US (at least indirectly) pumping a few more billions dollars into the local coffers.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, February 2nd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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