Monday 25 September 2017

Girl (9) killed as bloody Kenya election protests escalate

A woman cries as she stand behind policemen during clashes between supporter of opposition leader Raila Odinga and policemen in Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
A woman cries as she stand behind policemen during clashes between supporter of opposition leader Raila Odinga and policemen in Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Kenya Red Cross medical staff treat protesters who had been beaten by police, during clashes between police and protesters in the Mathare area of Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Riot police advancing towards protesters walk past burning barricades, during clashes between police and protesters in the Mathare area of Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Anti riot policemen clash with protesters supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga in Mathare, in Nairobi, Kenya August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
An anti riot policeman fires a tear gas canister toward demonstrators, supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga, in Mathare, in Nairobi, Kenya August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga stand in front of a burned barricade in Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kenyan police have shot and killed two people during riots by opposition supporters after President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner in elections overshadowed by fraud allegations.

A nine-year-old girl was also killed by a stray bullet during protests in the capital.

The two police shootings occurred on the outskirts of Kisumu, a city where opposition leader Raila Odinga has strong support, according to Leonard Katana, a regional police commander.

Another five people were injured by gunfire in Kisumu, Mr Katana said.

Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga stand in front of a burned barricade in Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga stand in front of a burned barricade in Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Kenyan police also opened fire on Saturday to disperse opposition protesters who blocked roads and set up burning barricades in a slum in Nairobi, the capital. Associated Press photographers saw police charging demonstrators and firing live rounds and tear gas in the Mathare area.

In Mathare, Wycliff Mokaya said his nine-year-old daughter was killed by a stray bullet while on their third-floor balcony.

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

Protesters, some with rocks or sticks, ran for cover as they came under fire in another Nairobi slum, Kibera. One person was shot and killed in Kibera overnight, said Sam Ochieng, a former chairman for Odinga's party there.

An anti riot policeman fires a tear gas canister toward demonstrators, supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga, in Mathare, in Nairobi, Kenya August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
An anti riot policeman fires a tear gas canister toward demonstrators, supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga, in Mathare, in Nairobi, Kenya August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Most of the country of 45 million people was calm the day after the election commission announced that Mr Kenyatta, whose father was Kenya's first president after independence from British colonial rule, had won a second, five-year term.

In a victory speech, he said he was extending a "hand of friendship" to the opposition, which alleged that the election commission's database had been hacked and results were manipulated against Mr Odinga.

Mr Kenyatta won with a decisive 54% of the vote to nearly 45% for Mr Odinga, but the bitter dispute over the integrity of the election process tempered what many Kenyans had hoped would be a celebration of democracy in a regional power known for its economic promise and long-term stability.

Catholic leaders on Saturday appealed for calm and asked security forces to exercise caution during protests.

Anti riot policemen clash with protesters supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga in Mathare, in Nairobi, Kenya August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Anti riot policemen clash with protesters supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga in Mathare, in Nairobi, Kenya August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

"We appeal to them to restrain themselves from using excessive force in handling crowds," said John Oballa Owaa, vice chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. "No life should be lost because of an election."

The bishop said any dispute over the election should be resolved peacefully and by "legal norms as provided in the constitution."

Riot police advancing towards protesters walk past burning barricades, during clashes between police and protesters in the Mathare area of Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Riot police advancing towards protesters walk past burning barricades, during clashes between police and protesters in the Mathare area of Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

In a separate statement, Human Rights Watch called on police to "exercise restraint".

Kenya Red Cross medical staff treat protesters who had been beaten by police, during clashes between police and protesters in the Mathare area of Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenya Red Cross medical staff treat protesters who had been beaten by police, during clashes between police and protesters in the Mathare area of Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

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