NAIROBI, Kenya - Opposition protests resumed in Kenya on Wednesday, and as many people here feared, violence erupted across the country once again.An example of why the Kenyan government has a ban on live coverage of events.
The worst clashes were in Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city and an opposition stronghold, where mobs of furious young men hurled stones at police officers, who responded by charging into the crowds and firing their guns.
One of Kenya’s television stations aired footage of a police officer in Kisumu shooting an unarmed protester who was dancing in the street and making faces at security agents. After the protester fell to the ground, the officer ran up to him and kicked him several times. Witnesses said the protester later died.
Fresh clashes between police and opposition protesters in Kenya have left at least two people dead.
Trouble flared nationwide as demonstrators defied a ban on rallies against President Mwai Kibaki's disputed re-election.
The fatal shootings occurred in the western opposition stronghold of Kisumu. In Nairobi, security forces wielding batons fired teargas and live rounds in the air.
A man was shot dead and two others injured as police battled demonstrators during Day One of marches called by ODM to protest against the outcome of the December presidential election.CSM: And the real culprit is...tada!...Strong Man politics on the parts of both Odinga and President Kibaki, says Jacqueline M. Klopp:
In Nairobi ODM MPs William Ruto, Najib Balala and Joseph Nyaga assembled on the Kenyatta Avenue-Kimathi Street junction, but were dispersed with tear gas. [SNIP]
The group had included ODM leader Raila Odinga who did not alight from his vehicle. He was driven off when police used tear gas to disperse the MPs.
As Mr Balala sprinted away from the cloud of tear gas, he tripped and fell, but was quickly pulled up by his aides and shoved into his car.
Sadly, this anti-Kikuyu campaign gained supporters among unemployed youth who learned to project their problems onto a Kikuyu face. Poor men were given weapons and paid to kill and displace. In return, they were promised or sold vacated land. Ultimately, in the 1990s, thousands of people died and almost half a million were displaced. This violence helped [President Kibaki's predecessor Daniel Arap] Moi's small group of corrupt "big men" stay in power for a decade. In the deeply flawed elections of 1992 and 1997, displacement became a form of gerrymandering.Two more days of rallies to go.
Not one person has been tried, let alone convicted, for these killings and displacements. The international community at the time seemed quite ready to forget as well.
Since his election in 2002, Kibaki has collaborated in this deliberate forgetting. Part of the reason was that he had brought into his ruling coalition many of the worst perpetrators of violence. They could deliver votes in key areas and were willing to drop their anti-Kikuyu rhetoric once in power.
Mr. Odinga, the opposition leader, has also brought notorious ethnic cleansers into his coalition. Their anti-Kikuyu rhetoric is a useful political tool against the Kikuyu incumbent.
I haven't heard from my father since this weekend, but I am not worried. I look for him on Fridays at 2:00 PM USA-PST.
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