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Violence and death after Kenya's disputed vote

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Violence and death after Kenya's disputed vote


At least 120 people are now reported to have died in Kenya, in violent protests against last week’s disputed elections. Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga have continued their protest, claiming vote-rigging and fraud. Police maintained a tough line, cracking down hard ahead of a planned opposition rally later today.

Odinga’s supporters want to name him the “People’s President” at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park. Police have declared the event illegal, and sealed off the area. Protests are sweeping Kenya. 40 died overnight in Nairobi, and at least 21 bullet-riddled bodies were seen at a mortuary in Kisumu.

Despite the uproar, President Mwai Kibaki lost no time in claiming his second term. The United States has congratulated him on his victory, and called for calm. But European Union observers said the vote lacked credibility, and there were substantial problems with the count.

In contrast to the turmoil in the townships, the centre of Nairobi was quiet this morning. The government declared a Bank Holiday, hoping to keep people off the streets.

The concerns about this election are in stark contrast to the vote in 2002, when Kibaki defeated the dictator Daniel arap Moi in a contest seen as an example of true democracy in an often-turbulent region.

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