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Tuesday 20 August 2019

13 killed by Kenyan police since repeat presidential poll, rights group says

Opposition leader Raila Odinga did not contest the election
Opposition leader Raila Odinga did not contest the election

Kenyan police have killed 13 protesters in opposition strongholds since Thursday's repeat presidential election, which the main opposition group boycotted, a local civil rights group has said.

The Independent Medico Legal Unit said on Wednesday it has recorded 64 cases of use of excessive force by police, including 34 people being shot, between October 25 and October 28.

The rights group uses medical evidence to help victims build up cases against human rights abuses.

Peter Kiama, the group's executive director, said police should investigate and discipline errant officers.

Kenyan human rights groups have long accused police of extrajudicial killings.

Last month, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said police killed at least 67 opposition supporters after the results of the August election, nullified by the Supreme Court over irregularities, were announced

President Uhuru Kenyatta this week was declared the winner of the October 26 repeat election by an overwhelming margin after opposition leader Raila Odinga refused to participate, saying electoral reforms had not been made.

A vetting process by the independent National Police Service Commission to weed out errant police officers that started in 2012 has been criticised for not doing enough to reform the 99,000-strong force, which admits corruption is widespread.

Also on Wednesday, ruling party politicians appealed for calm amid ethnic tensions in a rural area following last week's election.

They noted reports that opposition supporters have blocked roads and hurled stones at vehicles near the border of Kisumu County, an opposition stronghold whose residents are mainly from the Luo ethnic group, and Kericho County, an ethnic Kalenjin area that supports the government.

Hillary Kosgei, a Kalenjin lawmaker from Kericho, condemned the unrest as a "direct invitation to violence" between the factions.


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