Violent clashes in Kenya kill scores

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mwai Kibaki

At least 250 people have died in Kenya in post-election clashes across the nation. Incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was declared re-elected on Sunday in a close vote. His opponent Raila Odinga disputes the result and has called for a recount.

The clashes have been along tribal lines, with Kibaki backed by the Kikuyu and Odinga by the Luo. The fighting has been particularly severe in western Kenya, a power base for Odinga. Police have been ordered to shoot looters on sight and have imposed a curfew in Kisumu, Kenya's third largest city.

There is no difference between [Mwai Kibaki] and Idi Amin and other military dictators who have seized power through the barrel of the gun.

—Raila Odinga, Kenyan opposition leader

Kibera, the slum in Nairobi, has been sealed off by riot police and paramilitary troops to contain violence.

The Kenyan government has banned live television broadcasts and censored news reports in what it says is an effort to prevent violence.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga

Odinga also announced that he wanted a mass rally to take place later in the day in the main park of Nairobi.

The violence led to an announcement by Kenyan police which stated that any person caught outside their homes in the slums of Nairobi will be shot dead on the spot.

In the riots, some residents who believed the vote was rigged, took extreme measures. Houses have been burned down, and some people have had the intention of killing others.