Kenya: opposition calling for calm in supporters
Heurts in the slum of Kibera, Nairobi, 12 August 2017
The opposition in Kenya was under intense pressure on Sunday to channel the anger of its supporters after the post-election violence that left at least 16 people dead in its strongholds Friday.
No significant incidents have been reported since Saturday night in the slums of Nairobi and the west of the country, theaters of violent but sporadic clashes between demonstrators armed with heavily armed stones and policemen after Friday’s announcement of the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, 55 years old.
Elsewhere, activity resumed in the streets of Nairobi, where the inhabitants normally went to the churches for mass.
At least 16 people were killed between Friday evening and Saturday night – nine in the slums of Nairobi, including a 9-year-old girl and seven in the west of the country – according to a new report by police and police sources. hospital.
“We have three bodies that have been taken to the main morgue in Kisumu, and we have one in Homa Bay, one in Migori and two in Siaya,” a police official posted on Sunday told AFP. West of the country, having requested anonymity.
This outbreak of violence resulted in a mobilization of the international community calling for moderation.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the defeated candidate Raila Odinga to “send a clear message to his supporters to refrain from resorting to violence.” The European Union and London also called for moderation while congratulating Mr Kenyatta on his re-election.
Police rush to disperse demonstrators in the Kibera slum in Nairobi on 12 August 2017
All have urged the opposition to pursue its claims through legal means, an option that it has for the moment rejected after unsuccessfully suing the Supreme Court in 2013.
The anger of supporters of the opposition erupted when Kenyatta won 54.27% of the tracks, on his rival Raila Odinga (44.74%), after a vote announced Tightened by survey institutes.
– ‘We want to hear Raila’ –
The opposition coalition Nasa maintains that Odinga won the ballot, the official result of which is the result of an electronic manipulation of the system of transmission and counting used by the Electoral Commission, and supposed to precisely prevent irregularities .
Raila Odinga, Kenya’s presidential candidate, on 11 August 2017 in Nairobi
“We will not let ourselves be intimidated, we will not give up,” said Saturday afternoon Johnson Muthama, one of the senior officials of the coalition.
Sunday morning in Mathare, one of the slums of Nairobi most affected by the violence, traders shyly re-opened their stalls, and policemen as protesters had deserted the streets, according to an AFP journalist.
Mr Odinga, who at 72 years old probably delivers his last major battle after his previous three failed presidential elections (1997, 2007, 2013), has walled up in silence since Friday night.
But according to his entourage, he had to go to Kibera and Mathare Sunday afternoon.
“We want to hear what Raila has to say, and he will guide us, if he tells us to go to the streets, we will go to the streets. Stay at home, we will stay at home, “said Humpfrey Songole, a 25-year-old hairdresser in Mathare.
– Using violence –
On Friday evening, Mr. Kenyatta, in power since 2013, extended a hand to Raila Odinga, in an address to the Nation. “We must work together … we must together make this country grow,” he said, calling on the opposition not to “resort to violence”.
Ten years ago, more than 1,100 people were killed and 600,000 displaced in two months of post-election violence after Mwai Kibaki was re-elected at the end of December 2007, already challenged by Odinga.
Kenya: call for calm after violence
But the context of the elections on Tuesday differs from that of ten years ago. Even if they shed light on old grudges between communities, the violence is currently limited to the strongholds of the opposition and only the ethnic Luo, that of Mr. Odinga, seems to be mobilized. The other components of Nasa, the Luhya and Kamba, remain for the time aloof from the violence, and their leaders discrete since the announcement of the results.
The international observation missions generally welcomed the good conduct of the elections. The Kenya Independent Observer Group ELOG, which deployed 8,300 field staff, issued Saturday “consistent” findings with the results officially approved by the IEBC.