Saturday, January 19, 2008

Five refugees die in Kenya attack - BBC 1/19/2008

Five people have died in western Kenya, in apparent ethnic violence linked to opposition protests against the outcome of last month's presidential election.

The deaths occurred when a group of youths attacked a refugee camp in Rift Valley Province, police said.

It came as the opposition ODM announced that it would resume protest rallies on Thursday.
It had originally called off protests in favour of a boycott of companies that back President Mwai Kibaki.

"We are resuming our peaceful public rallies on Thursday," the chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement, Henry Kosgey, told reporters.

"We will use all available means to bring down the Kibaki regime."

But EU development commissioner Louis Michel, who is in Nairobi for talks with both sides, said such meetings were dangerous and that Kenya needed a "ceasefire" and "active silence".

Post-election violence has left more than 600 people dead, including at least 28 in the last four days.

Weeks of violence
Police said a group of armed ethnic Kalenjins, who generally support the opposition, attacked displaced people from the Kikuyu tribe, which backs Mr Kibaki, in the Rift Valley village of Kipkeleon.

Hundreds of people have gathered in the camp, 180km (112 miles) north-west of Nairobi, after three weeks of violence in the Rift Valley.

Meanwhile correspondents say most of the main trouble spots were calm on Saturday, as international mediation efforts continued.

ODM leader Raila Odinga has demanded a re-run of the election, which he says was rigged by the government.

And on Friday Kenya's National Commission on Human Rights cast doubt on the vote, listing a catalogue of irregularities.

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to lead mediation efforts when he arrives on Tuesday.

View full story from BBC NEWS

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