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Kenyan police clash with opposition supporters welcoming Odinga

Latest update : 17/11/2017

© Patrick Meinhardt, AFP file picture | Supporters of Kenya's opposition run from police as they demonstrate following the results of a presidential election re-run in Kibera on October 30, 2017

Article text by FRANCE 24

Kenyan police on Friday clashed with opposition supporters cheering a convoy carrying opposition leader Raila Odinga from the airport to central Nairobi.

Three men were shot dead in the Kenyan capital as police broke up crowds of thousands of opposition supporters, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.
The three bodies, all shot in the upper body, were seen lying on the road in Muthurwa, a city suburb where riot police armed with tear gas, water cannons and rifles clashed with protesters.
Kenyan TV footage showed some protesters throwing stones at police. Two vehicles were also on fire. Police spokesmen did not immediately respond to phone calls.
 
 

Odinga has called for a “National Resistance Movement” to protest against the outcome of a repeat presidential election last month which saw President Uhuru Kenyatta win a second, five-year term.

The incumbent president took 98 percent of the vote after Odinga boycotted the contest. Only 39 percent of registered voters took part.

The repeat poll was ordered by the Supreme Court after it annulled the results of the August election, also won by Kenyatta, over procedural irregularities.

In what is seen as the last chance for legal scrutiny of the vote, the court will rule on Monday on cases that seek to nullify the rerun election.

The political crisis has stirred fears for the stability of the east African nation, a regional hub for trade, diplomacy and security.

Kenyatta to be sworn in on Nov. 28

Earlier on Friday, demonstrators threw up burning barricades on Mombasa Road, the highway that links Nairobi’s downtown business district and the airport.

Despite a partial police ban on protests in the capital, hundreds of people had gathered in the morning near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to await Odinga’s return from the United States. Police fired into the air to disperse them, a Reuters photographer said.

Once Odinga landed, motorcycle taxi drivers and people on foot shouted their support as the motorcade, which included lawmakers from Odinga’s opposition coalition, began moving toward central Nairobi.

Dozens of international flights depart and arrive daily at Nairobi’s main airport. The national airport authority said on Twitter just before midday that operations were running normally.

Kenya’s prolonged election season has disrupted its economy. Human rights groups say at least 66 people have died in bloodshed surrounding the two elections.

In Monday’s Supreme Court rulings, judges could order a fresh vote or clear the way for the incumbent to be sworn in for his second term. If the election is upheld, Kenyatta will be sworn in on Nov. 28.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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