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Renewed protests in Kenya as government vow to counter opposition moves


GOOBJOOG NEWS | NAIROBI: Opposition supporters clashed with police in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and western city of Kisumu Thursday in the third wave of anti-government demonstrations.

In the capital Nairobi, demonstrators engaged police in running battles in the low-income settlement of Mathare – with police using teargas to repulse the stone throwing demonstrators.

However, like Monday, police blocked the opposition convoy from accessing the capital’s Central Business District (CBD) keeping them at the outskirts of Nairobi.

Kenya’s interior security minister Kithure Kindiki issued a statement condemning the opposition’s anti-government demos which has seen unknown people torch a church and a mosque in Kibera, a multi-ethnic settlement near the capital city which is a key stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Government statistics so far show that at least two civilians have been killed and more than 130 people, including 51 police officers injured in the protests since last week.

The international community and religious leaders have called for calm, voicing fears that the violence could degenerate into the ethnic post-election fighting witnessed after the 2007 election that claimed the lives of more than 1,100 people.

“We are deeply concerned by the recent unrest and violence as well as destruction of places of worship and private property,” eight foreign embassies, including the United States and former colonial power Britain said in a joint statement Wednesday.

Religious leaders and human rights groups have also called for calm in warning against the kind of ethnic fighting that killed more than 1,000 people following the disputed 2007 election.

The African Union also appealed Tuesday for calm and political dialogue to put a stop to the to chaos.

  • By Fauxile Kibet