Nairobi, Kenya

The Week Middle East - - News -

Elec­tion vi­o­lence: At least 24 peo­ple were killed, most of them by Kenyan po­lice and se­cu­rity forces, in spo­radic vi­o­lence last week­end fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment that Uhuru Keny­atta had won a sec­ond five-year term as the coun­try’s pres­i­dent. Last week’s vot­ing had passed off peace­fully, as millions of Kenyans queued for hours to chose be­tween Keny­atta, 55, and Raila Odinga, 72, a veteran of Kenyan pol­i­tics on his fourth at­tempt to win the pres­i­dency. Vi­o­lent protests broke out on Fri­day night and Satur­day in Odinga’s strongholds – poorer ar­eas of Nairobi and the western city of Kisumu – after the elec­toral com­mis­sion an­nounced that Keny­atta had won by 54% to 45%. Odinga main­tains that the re­sults were rigged; how­ever, elec­tion ob­servers – in­clud­ing the EU, the African Union and lo­cal groups – unan­i­mously agreed that there was no sys­tem­atic rig­ging.

The coun­try feared a re­peat of the 2007 post-elec­tion blood­shed, when claims of vote-rig­ging against Odinga prompted wide­spread ri­ot­ing and a se­cu­rity clam­p­down by the gov­ern­ment, tip­ping Kenya into its worst cri­sis in decades. About 1,300 peo­ple were killed in the eth­nic and sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence that fol­lowed.

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