Kenya’s Opposition suspends anti-IEBC protests for dialogue

May 25, 2016 2:07 pm
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A statement issued Wednesday afternoon states that the protests have been suspended for a week to give dialogue and peace a chance/FILE
A statement issued Wednesday afternoon states that the protests have been suspended for a week to give dialogue and peace a chance/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has suspended next Monday’s anti-IEBC protests to pave way for dialogue.

A statement issued Wednesday afternoon indicated that the protests have been suspended for a week to give dialogue and peace a chance.

Overview
  • On Tuesday, envoys from 12 foreign missions called for an investigation over Monday’s killings of three people during protests in Kisumu and Siaya 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
  • The Opposition protests, in their fourth week, are aimed at forcing a change of leadership at the country’s IEBC ahead of the polls due next year

The statement however pointed out that prayers for peace scheduled for Wednesday next week Uhuru Park during Madaraka Day will go on.

“In recent days, there have been mounting calls for dialogue. The church and the international community have called for dialogue, which is what CORD has advocated since 2014,” the coalition said.

“We remain ready for and committed to dialogue as the best path out of the crisis facing our nation,” it pointed out.

The suspension comes amid pressure from diplomats and church leaders who favour dialogue to resolve the IEBC stalemate as opposed to violent protests which have led to the killing of at least three people.

“We shall dedicate next week to the pursuit of peace, justice and dialogue with prayers for peace at Uhuru Park. Our supporters in the counties will hold similar prayers in churches, mosques, temples and sanctuaries with specific appeal for peace and justice to prevail,” the statement from the coalition explained.

CORD stated that if by the end of next week there shall be no concrete steps towards dialogue, they shall resume the protests and stated that “The ball is therefore in the government’s court.”

On Tuesday, envoys from 12 foreign missions called for an investigation over Monday’s killings of three people during protests in Kisumu and Siaya and the injury of many others in Nairobi and other parts of the country.

READ: Foreign envoys want action on killings, urge dialogue on IEBC

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.

The Opposition protests, in their fourth week, are aimed at forcing a change of leadership at the country’s IEBC ahead of the 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.

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