Kenya’s opposition leader is insisting a banned protest march will go ahead today. Raila Odinga is vowing to bring thousands onto the streets of Nairobi – despite the tide of violence which has engulfed the country in the last week.
More than 300 have been killed and tens of thousands displaced in a wave of rioting and ethnic fighting triggered by President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election.
Both sides have accused the other of genocide in the wake of the poll – while Odinga’s opposition party has refused to accept the result: “Honourable Raila AMolo Odinga was democratically elected as the fourth President of the republic of Kenya, and both Mwai Kibaki and the Electoral Mission of Kenya stand guilty of subverting the democratic process to perpetuate authoritarian rule in Kenya.”, said a spokesman.
But this is no longer just about politics – Kenya’s election row has laid bare ethnic tensions which have simmered for decades in what WAS Africa’s most stable country – and world leaders like the UK’s Gordon Brown want it to stop:
“The whole international community has been coming together to try and bring an end to the violence in Kenya. And I believe there is a responsibility on the part of all the opposition and government leaders in Kenya to call on their supporters to end the violence that is taking place.”
Nowhere is the full extent of Kenya’s horror and devastation more evident than in the western Rift Valley town of Eldoret.
Smouldering embers are all that remain of a wooden church which was razed to the ground after dozens of people had sought refuge inside.