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Wednesday 25 April 2018

Police deployed after Kenya deaths

Supporters of losing presidential candidate Raila Odinga protest in front of the Supreme Court in Nairobi, Kenya (AP)
Supporters of losing presidential candidate Raila Odinga protest in front of the Supreme Court in Nairobi, Kenya (AP)

Kenyan police have deployed forces in the capital and the lakeside city of Kisumu to contain the continuing threat of violence after two people were shot dead on Saturday in protests following a court decision to uphold the election result.

Officials noted that most of the country remained peaceful after the Supreme Court upheld the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as the Kenya's next president.

Moses Ombati, the deputy police chief for Nairobi, said rowdy youths in Nairobi's slums were still trying to protest over the court's ruling against Prime Minister Raila Odinga's challenge to the validity of Kenyatta's win.

Ombati said he hoped the presence of armed police would deter illegal protests like those that erupted on Saturday immediately after the court's ruling. "There is tension obviously, but with the deployment of officers we have done we don't anticipate anything," Ombati said.

Although Odinga accepted the court's decision, some of his supporters reacted angrily to his loss, taking to the streets and engaging the police in running battles.

Two people were killed and five seriously injured in riots in Kisumu, Odinga's home region, said Ole Metito, police chief for Nyanza province. At least seven rioters are now in police custody over their alleged roles in the Kisumu violence, he said.

"There was chaos in places where people were throwing stones. Now we have officers monitoring the general situation," Metito said.

Kenyatta, who is to be sworn in on April 9, said late on Saturday that he would be a president for all Kenyans and urged them to move past the election and build a nation "at peace with itself".

The March 4 election was described by many as the most complicated in Kenya's history. It pitted Kenyatta against Odinga, whose disputed loss in the 2007 election triggered post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Kenyatta faces criminal charges at the International Criminal Court for allegedly encouraging that post-election violence. He will become the second sitting African president to face charges at the Hague. William Ruto, his running mate who is set to become Kenya's deputy president, faces similar charges. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Press Association

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