Calm returns to Kenya

2013-03-31 22:35
(Photo: Simon Maina, AFP)

(Photo: Simon Maina, AFP)

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Nairobi - Kenyan police maintained tight security on Sunday as calm returned after a court ruling upholding Uhuru Kenyatta's presidential election win sparked anger among his rival's supporters, leading to riots that left two people dead.

Outgoing prime minister Raila Odinga had challenged the result of the 4 March poll hoping for a rerun, but while he begrudgingly accepted the Supreme Court's decision on Saturday, youths in his strongholds were enraged.

Riots broke out immediately after the ruling, leaving two dead in the city of Kisumu, said Joseph Ole Tito, police chief for the western Nyanza region.

Sporadic clashes were also reported in Nairobi's Mathare slum on Sunday morning with police firing tear gas at youths who had pelted them with stones.

But calm had been restored by early afternoon as security forces maintained a strong presence in and around Mathare, home to many of Odinga's supporters.

Calm had also returned to western Kenya, another Odinga bastion, although many shops in the main city of Kisumu remained boarded up after Saturday's looting.

Emmanuel Owako, a local Red Cross coordinator said a total of 24 people in the western region had been admitted to hospital with injuries after the rioting and about 15 of them had gunshot wounds.

The vast majority had been discharged by Sunday.

There were few cars on the roads with residents preferring to walk to and from church on Sunday after several vehicles were damaged by stone-throwing youths on Saturday.

The six judges of Kenya's top court dashed Odinga's last hopes of victory by unanimously ruling that the election had been fair and credible and that Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto had been "validly elected."

Official results showed the president-elect won 50.07% of the vote, just making it over the 50% threshold needed to avoid a second-round ballot by about 8 000 votes.

Read more on:    uhuru kenyatta  |  raila odinga  |  kenya  |  east africa

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