Tag Archives: Kikuyu

Nairobi ‘Saba Saba’ rally reveals sharp ethnic, political divides

Supporters of the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy or Cord attend a rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi Monday July 7, 2014. Sayyid Azim/AP

A highly emotive rally of more than 10,000 people in Nairobi today capped a month of antigovernment protests led by longtime opposition figure Raila Odinga, who is calling for a “national dialogue” with President Uhuru Kenyatta as ethnic tensions reach a fever pitch.

The two political leaders were also on different sides in post-election violence in 2007 that led to a charge of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court at The Hague. That violence killed more than 1,000 people.

Kenya’s opposition today said it would pursue a national referendum to deal with deepening insecurity and economic woes that the Kenyatta government has struggled to solve.  Read more…

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Kenya’s president: massacres aren’t Al Shabab but political opponents

President Uhuru Kenyatta today told surprised Kenyans that the grisly murders of 60 people in recent days – some while watching the World Cup – were not carried out by the terror group Al Shabab, but by local “networks” organized by his political opponents.

Al Shabab claimed credit for a massacre on Sunday of 49 people in the coastal town of Mpeketoni, and for killing at least 10 people on Monday in a small town nearby. Those incidents, in an area hit recently by Al Shabab, bore the hallmarks of the Somalia-based, self-described Islamist group, with masked attackers shouting “Alahu Akbar” and executing civilians who failed to recite Koranic verses.

Yet Mr. Kenyatta, in a televised address, blamed “reckless leaders” for inciting violence against a specific ethnic group, the Kikuyu, who are reportedly the victims of the coastal attacks.  Read more…

Legacy of violence looms as Kenyans gear up for vote

In this Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 file photo, Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga speaks to the crowd at an election rally in Iten, Kenya. (AP Photo/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin, File)
In this Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 file photo, Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga speaks to the crowd at an election rally in Iten, Kenya. (AP Photo/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin, File)

It’s voting time in Kenya, and campaigns are in full swing in preparation for general elections on Monday. The eight presidential candidates are helicoptering from rally to rally in search of their share of the 14.3 million registered voters, while caravans of music-blasting campaign buses block up city traffic as they energize their bases. Campaign posters dripping with glue blanket any available surface from tree trunks to highway overpasses, and party flags flap from the external mirrors of public buses and motorcycle taxis. Parades of red or orange, depending on the preferred major party, bounce their way through city streets and slum alleys, blowing whistles and shouting slogans.

But uncertainty lurks beneath the zeal.  Read more…