At least 27 people are now known to have died in a fresh outbreak of violence in Kenya. Until yesterday the Rift Valley, once popular with holidaymakers, had escaped weeks of post-election violence. In the valley’s main town, Nakuru, the morgue and hospital are struggling to cope. More than 700 people have died around the country after a disputed election that saw President Mwai Kibaki returned to power.
Former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan visited the valley, and called for an inquiry. He said: “We saw gross and systematic abuse of human rights of fellow citizens and it is essential that facts be established and those responsible held to account.”
Observers say the new fighting here undermines hopes of a solution to the crisis. President Kibaki met his opposition rival on Thursday in their first talks since the trouble began. Kibaki rejects accusations the vote on December 27 was rigged. The fighting in the Rift Valley has also seen the first deployment of Kenya’s military since the start of the violence.