Killings continue in Kenya

Reports from Kenya indicate that up to 70 people have been killed in ethnic killings since Thursday last week. Ten people were killed in Naivasha town west of Nairobi yesterday – six of them were burnt and four were hacked to death.

The attacks came as armed members of the Kikuyu community targeted members of the Luo and Kalenjin communities, who are seen as having supported the opposition candidate. Up to 60 people have been killed in similar attacks in Nakuru town, the capital of the Rift Valley Province.

The latest attacks appear to be reprisal attacks aimed at perceived supporters of the opposition candidate, in response to earlier attacks against those perceived to be supporters of the President.

On Friday, Amnesty International called on the Kenyan government to take all appropriate steps to protect people from human rights abuses caused by politically-motivated and ethnic attacks.

“The government has an obligation to protect its citizens from politically-motivated and ethnic attacks – but in doing so must only use force that is both necessary and proportional,” said Erwin van der Borght, Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme.

According to official government statistics, about 680 people have been killed since 30 December in the aftermath of December’s disputed presidential elections. Other sources indicate that the figure could be much higher.

Those killed include dozens who were shot dead by the police, who were deployed to quell the violence or break up mass protests called by the opposition against the election results.

The UN estimates that over 255,000 people have become internally displaced as a result of the violence and that more than 6,000 others have fled to Uganda as refugees.