Vi­o­lence grows af­ter Kenya vote; po­lice open fire on ri­ot­ers

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

NAIROBI, KENYA» In an es­ca­la­tion of Kenya’s deadly elec­tion vi­o­lence, po­lice on Sat­ur­day fired live am­mu­ni­tion at ri­ot­ers and used tear gas on ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing op­po­si­tion of­fi­cials try­ing to en­ter a Nairobi slum where they have strong sup­port. A young girl was killed by a stray bul­let, nine bod­ies with gun­shot wounds were brought overnight to the cap­i­tal’s main morgue, and a watch­dog group said po­lice gun­fire has killed 24 peo­ple since Tues­day’s dis­puted vote.

The chaos in the Nairobi slums of Mathare and Kib­era, as well as in the op­po­si­tion strong­hold of Kisumu city, con­trasted with wide­spread calm — and cel­e­bra­tions in some ar­eas — in the coun­try of 45 mil­lion af­ter Kenya’s elec­tion com­mis­sion said late Fri­day that Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta won a sec­ond term. Protests, of­ten vi­o­lent, be­gan soon af­ter vot­ing when Keny­atta’s main chal­lenger, Raila Odinga, al­leged vo­terig­ging.

The gov­ern­ment said life was re­turn­ing to nor­mal and that those chal­leng­ing se­cu­rity forces were crim­i­nals in­tent on loot­ing and de­stroy­ing prop­erty. How­ever, the po­lice came un­der scru­tiny for what the Kenya Na­tional Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights, which mon­i­tors gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions, de­scribed as the “un­law­ful and un­ac­cept­able” use of ex­ces­sive force.

Seven­teen of the two dozen peo­ple shot by po­lice died in Nairobi, the com­mis­sion said. It cited al­le­ga­tions of po­lice break­ing into homes, beat­ing peo­ple, threat­en­ing them with rape and de­mand­ing money. The watch­dog group also lamented “the de­struc­tion of pri­vate prop­erty by both civil­ians and al­legedly by se­cu­rity per­son­nel in the course of their duty.”

Po­lice shot and killed two peo­ple dur­ing ri­ots by op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers on the out­skirts of Kisumu, a re­gional po­lice com­man­der, Leonard Katana, said Sat­ur­day. An­other five peo­ple were in­jured by gun­fire in Kisumu, Katana said.

In Mathare, where Odinga has sig­nif­i­cant sup­port, po­lice opened fire to dis­perse pro­test­ers who blocked roads and set up burn­ing bar­ri­cades. As­so­ci­ated Press pho­tog­ra­phers saw po­lice charg­ing demon­stra­tors and fir­ing live rounds and tear gas.

One Mathare res­i­dent, Wy­cliff Mokaya, told The As­so­ci­ated Press that his 9year-old daugh­ter was killed by a stray bul­let while on the third-floor bal­cony of their home.

“I was watch­ing her play with her friends when she sud­denly fell down,” Mokaya said. “She was my only hope.”

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