One day after President Uhuru Kenyatta was reelected in a fiercely contested and divisive vote, violence erupted across parts of Kenya in clashes between protesters and security forces.
At least 24 people, including a 6-year-old child, have been killed since the election results were announced Friday night, according to the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights.
“Deaths can be directly linked to the elections and post-election environment,” said Kagwiria Mbogori, chairman of the commission. “Family and community members have indicated they were killed during the protests, which broke out in some parts of the country after the polls.”
Mbogori said loss of life is attributed to police using live ammunition and that 17 deaths were confirmed in Nairobi, the capital, alone.
In Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, residents said that at least six people were killed late Friday and early Saturday in clashes with police. Young men in the slum had promised for days to hold demonstrations if Kenyatta defeated their candidate, Raila Odinga, who has not yet accepted the results and conceded, raising concerns of further violence.
Kenya’s acting security minister, Fred Matiangi, has disputed accusations that police had shot protesters, telling reporters Saturday that officers “did not use live bullets” and adding that “the country was safe and secure.”
But Mbogori said the commission “can confirm that there has been excessive use of force and misuse of firearms by security personnel dealing with members of the public who are exercising their right to peaceful assembly in accordance with our constitution.”
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Rael Ombuor and Kevin Sieff