Friday :: Jan 18, 2008

Kenya: Government violence leads to new opposition tactics

by Turkana

The new round of Kenyan opposition protests began, and there should be no surprise as to the immediate result. There is also no need for much comment. The facts speak for themselves.

Photograph: Walter Astrada/AFP/Getty

Agence France-Presse:

The death toll for three days of opposition rallies against Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki's re-election soared to 25 Friday when police killed five protestors and found several bodies across the country.

The fresh wave of violence following last month's disputed presidential poll came as former UN chief Kofi Annan announced he would fly in Tuesday to broker a deal and the opposition said it would halt its demonstrations.

Four people were shot dead in Kibera, Nairobi's largest slum, and another shortly after Friday prayers in Mombasa, Kenya's second city, police said, bringing to 25 the number of people killed since rallies kicked off Wednesday.

"The demonstrators (in Kibera) were charging at the officers with stones and that is when police fired at them. Four of them have been killed," a police commander told AFP.

At least 20 other Kenyans have been killed over the past two days, including five in overnight clashes in the Narok area, northwest of the capital.


(Opposition leader Raila) Odinga said police were turning the country into "killing fields of the innocent, executing at will in an unprecedented bloodlust".

But police said their response had been restrained and officers had only fired at rioters and looters.

Public demonstrations were banned by police immediately after Mr Kibaki's swearing-in on 30 December.

The European Parliament unanimously backed a resolution on Thursday calling for the EU to suspend aid to the Kenyan government.

Meanwhile, the UN has launched a $34m (£17.3m) appeal for Kenya to help those affected by the recent unrest, in which a quarter of a million people have left their homes.

But the opposition will, now, change its tactics. Hopefully, that will mean an abatement of government violence.


Kenya's main opposition party will call off street protests today in favour of an economic boycott after accusing police of shooting dead at least seven of its supporters during mass action yesterday.

The Orange Democratic Movement, led by Raila Odinga, said that peaceful demonstrations against the disputed re-election of President Mwai Kibaki had been made impossible by a huge security crackdown.

The Age:

The boycotts would be aimed at businesses owned by Mr Kibaki's close advisers, Mr Odinga said, including the largest Kenyan bank and certain bus companies and milk producers.

"Our supporters are the biggest consumers," Mr Odinga said, "so that is a weapon we have."

Turkana :: 11:50 AM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!