Tuesday 23 April 2019

Kenya opposition leader appeals for 'international intervention' amid crisis

A woman is caught in tear gas during running battles with police in Kibera Slums in Nairobi, Kenya (AP/Brian Inganga)
A woman is caught in tear gas during running battles with police in Kibera Slums in Nairobi, Kenya (AP/Brian Inganga)
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga says there should be international intervention amid a crisis (AP/Brian Inganga)

Kenya's opposition leader has called for "international intervention" amid an election crisis, saying at least 31 supporters have been killed since Friday.

Raila Odinga said they had been killed by police and militia since his return from an overseas trip.

He said the country "was being pushed to the precipice" after residents of a Nairobi slum protested about the killing of at least 13 people in an overnight attack by unknown gunmen.

"This is state-sponsored thuggery," Mr Odinga said.

A local politician was shot in the leg during the protests that followed the killings, he said.

Police said four people were killed in the attack, but mortuary attendants told The Associated Press that 13 bodies, all with bullet wounds, had been brought in.

Mr Odinga said 18 people were shot dead on Friday when police tried to stop his supporters from lining the roads to welcome him after speaking engagements in the US and Britain.

Mortuary records corroborate the death toll he gave. Police said five people were killed by mobs.

Tensions have risen since the Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election in August, citing irregularities, after Mr Odinga challenged the results.

The court ordered a fresh vote last month which Mr Odinga boycotted, citing a lack of electoral reforms.

Mr Kenyatta won the repeat election in October, but his victory is again being challenged at the Supreme Court by civil society activists and a politician.

The court is due to announce its decision on Monday.

There have been concerns about intimidation of the justices, who failed to muster a quorum to decide on a last-minute petition that sought to postpone last month's election.

One justice's bodyguard was shot and seriously wounded hours before the expected judgment.

Mr Odinga has rejected Mr Kenyatta's victory.

The nullification of Kenya's August election was the first time a court in Africa had overturned a presidential vote.

With this weekend's death toll, nearly 100 people have died in political unrest since then, the majority opposition demonstrators shot by police during protests.


Press Association

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