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Kenya's opposition says 100 killed in post-election protests (Third Lead)

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Nairobi | Sunday, 2017 1:15:04 AM IST
 
Kenyan opposition coalition on Saturday said at least 100 people had been killed by the police responding to protests which erupted after the announcement of the presidential election results.

The post-election violence deaths followed a shoot-to-kill order to the police command by senior government officials, Xinhua quoted the National Super Alliance (NASA) Legal Counsel, James Orengo, as saying.

"At least 100 people have been killed, 10 of them children," Orengo said during a news conference called by the coalition's leaders to brief supporters on the ongoing political crisis.

Sporadic but widespread violence erupted on Friday night after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the presidential race.

In Nairobi, violence broke out in Kibera, a populous slum in the capital, Mathare and Kawangware slums.

There have also been violent protests in other estates in the capital. Widespread violence also broke out in Maseno, in western Kenya, Kisumu, Bondo, Siaya, Ugunja, Migori and Homa Bay towns.

State-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights however said 24 people have been killed across the country from police brutality since August 8.

Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori said on Saturday Nairobi accounts for the highest number of casualties with 17 deaths which occurred mainly after the announcement of presidential election results on Friday night.

Homa Bay, Migori and Siaya account for two deaths each while one death had been reported in Kisumu, Mbogori said during a press conference in Nairobi.

Mbogori said the commission has established that the deaths were caused by the use of live bullets by the police who moved in to contain violent protests that erupted soon after the announcement of election results.

"These cases indicate the casualties were felled by bullets and the same has been corroborated by family and community members who have indicated that they were killed during the protests," Mbogori said.

Mbogori said the commission has established that there have been ongoing security operations in six settlements in Kisumu since Friday night.

Similar operations were also being conducted in Migori, Bondo in Western Kenya and Nairobi's Mathare and Kiberia informal settlements, Mbogori said.

The operations, she claimed, have seen the police use excessive force resulting in deaths of civilians.

Mbogori appealed to Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to take immediate action and stop the killings.

Matiang'i denied the police use of live ammunition and excessive force at a news conference. Matiang'i said Police used equal force to respond to looters.

"Police have not used disproportionate force in this country. The law protects peaceful protesters. We escort protesters whenever we have been notified. People who are looting are not peaceful protesters," Matiang'i told reporters in Nairobi.

Some opposition lawmakers elected during the Aug. 8 polls said the rapid violent crackdown on the peaceful protesters of the election results appeared well-organised and were not carried out by police.

"We have no evidence of pre-planning and coordination. We are not aware. It does not exist," Matiang'i said.

Meanwhile, the opposition leaders said they would hold the interior minister and the police Inspector-General personally responsible for the acts of the officers under their command.

"The violence being meted out on these defenceless citizens in their residential neighbourhoods is intended to subjugate the will of the people and NASA into submission. We will not be cowed. We will not relent," said Orengo.

--IANS qd/

( 578 Words)

2017-08-13-00:38:10 (IANS)

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