The Latest: Kenya group says police kill 13 since new vote
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Latest on Kenya’s presidential election (all times local):
Kenyan civil rights group the Independent Medico Legal Unit says police have killed 13 protesters in opposition strongholds since Thursday’s repeat presidential election, which the main opposition group boycotted.
IMLU says that between Oct. 25 and Oct. 28 it recorded 64 cases of use of excessive force by police, including 34 people being shot. The group says 13 of those people died.
Kenyan human rights groups have long accused police of being used by the state to clamp down on dissenting voices. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said police killed dozens of people after the results of the nullified August election were announced.
The head of a Kenyan observers’ group says the Oct. 26 repeat presidential election faced challenges that were “not conducive” for a free and fair process.
Regina Opondo, chair of the Elections Observation Group, told Kenyan television on Wednesday that “the environment was not secure” in some areas during the vote, which the main opposition group boycotted.
Opondo says it is doubtful that Kenya’s election commission was able to conduct “significant and comprehensive voter education” ahead of the vote, a rerun of the August election that was nullified by the Supreme Court over irregularities.
The Elections Observation Group says ruling party representatives were present in 80 percent of polling stations that the group observed, while representatives from other parties were at just under 3 percent of those stations.
Kenyan ruling party lawmakers are appealing for calm amid ethnic tensions in a rural area following last week’s election, which was boycotted by the main opposition group.
The lawmakers on Wednesday noted reports that opposition supporters have blocked roads and hurled stones at vehicles around the border of Kisumu County, an opposition stronghold whose residents are mainly from the Luo ethnic group, and Kericho County, a Kalenjin area that supports the government.
Hillary Kosgei, a Kalenjin lawmaker from Kericho, is condemning the unrest as a “direct invitation to violence” between the factions.
Police say a Luo man was hacked to death in the area last week.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the Oct. 26 election by an overwhelming margin after opposition leader Raila Odinga refused to participate.