Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Civil Unrest Rocks Kenya
There is tremendous unrest in Kenya, as the elections of President Mwai Kibaki to a second term has led to violence.
A mob burned down a church holding hundreds of Kenyans fleeing for safety, killing at least 50 people. The riots themselves have led to the deaths of 263 people. This is a shock, given that Kenya is considered one of Africa's most stable countries.
The EU and the US have refused to congratulate Kibaki, since they feel that the elections were rigged. The EU and four Kenyan officials have called for an independent inquiry. Some have criticized the US for their actions, since many around the world feel that President Bush rigged the 2000 elections.
"There was a huge mob; they attacked the church," said an anonymous witness. "We counted 15 to 20 bodies."
Police officers are not authorized to speak to the media, but some of them did confirm the death toll in the city. Allegations of election rigging were driven by the fact that the opposition party won most of the seats in parliament. Also, there were unexplained delays in vote tallying and peculiar anomalies, such as 115% voter turnout in one constituency.
Opposition leaders have called for a million people to come out and rally against Kibaki. They plan to move forward, even though the government has banned the demonstration.