Foreign envoys want action on killings, urge dialogue on IEBC

May 24, 2016 6:43 pm
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"We are deeply concerned by the escalation of violence during the demonstrations," a joint statement by a dozen ambassadors read, including Britain, the European Union and United States. "The deaths and injuries of Kenyan citizens were tragic and unnecessary," they added/FILE
“We are deeply concerned by the escalation of violence during the demonstrations,” a joint statement by a dozen ambassadors read, including Britain, the European Union and United States. “The deaths and injuries of Kenyan citizens were tragic and unnecessary,” they added/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – Envoys from 12 foreign missions have called for an investigation over Monday’s killings of three people during protests in Kisumu and the injury of many others in Nairobi and other parts of the country.

The envoys released a joint statement calling for an investigation against security forces after two people were shot dead in Siaya while another died after being trampled on in Kisumu.

Overview
  • CORD leader Raila Odinga believes the electoral commission is biased, blaming it for his defeat by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2013 vote
  • The Kenyan Government has launched an investigation against politicians it accuses of sourcing funds to destabilize the country
  • Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the unnamed politicians have been looking for funds in and out of the country to enable them execute their scheme

The Opposition protests, in their fourth week, are organised by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) and are aimed at forcing a change of leadership at the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of polls due next year.

Riot police equipped with shields and batons used tear gas and water canon to disperse protesters who tried to gather in the capital Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa.

“We are deeply concerned by the escalation of violence during the demonstrations,” a joint statement by a dozen ambassadors read, including Britain, the European Union and United States. “The deaths and injuries of Kenyan citizens were tragic and unnecessary,” they added.

They urged demonstrators to act peacefully, while insisting on the need to embrace an all-inclusive dialogue to resolve any outstanding issues with the electoral commission.

Other ambassadors who signed the joint statement include those from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden also signed the letter.

“We urge the government of Kenya to investigate the actions of the security services and to hold accountable anyone responsible for the use of excessive force,” the statement read, adding that they “call on all demonstrators to act peacefully.”

Speaking in Geneva, Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said he was “very concerned by the increasing violence surrounding the weekly protests.”

CORD leader Raila Odinga believes the electoral commission is biased, blaming it for his defeat by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2013 vote.

Police said that prison wardens escorting criminals shot and injured five “rioters” who attacked their bus.

“We urge both the authorities and the protest organisers to cooperate in ensuring that peaceful protesters are protected from violent elements joining the demonstrations – and it is vital the authorities do not overreact to the presence of such elements, thereby placing many other innocent protestors at risk of physical harm,” Colville said.

The Kenyan Government has launched an investigation against politicians it accuses of sourcing funds to destabilize the country.

Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the unnamed politicians have been looking for funds in and out of the country to enable them execute their scheme.

“I can tell you they are politicians and it is to destabilise Kenya to create extra-constitutional means they desire so that they can have political power,” he said. “It is the same script like the 2007 when people occupied other people’s houses they didn’t build. This is a calculated move to ensure the riots are self propelled.”

While making reference to Monday’s chaos in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Siaya, Kiraithe said the government “will not allow a few leaders to take the country back to the dark old days.”

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