Kenya watchdog says 92 people killed in election violence
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ninety-two people were killed during Kenya’s months of election turmoil and dozens of others were sexually assaulted, a human rights watchdog said Wednesday.
Most victims “were felled by the bullet” and authorities must account for “how the officers under their command used the live ammunition that had been assigned to them,” according to the report of the independent Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
The group reported 86 cases of sexual or gender-based violence, saying it was “extremely worried” by the emergence of sexual violence “as a weapon of subjugation” during political contests.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has accused Kenyan security forces of killing scores of his supporters. Police have denied it. They also called a recent Human Rights Watch report alleging gang-rapes by men in uniform in opposition strongholds “utter falsehoods.”
Odinga lost the August presidential election but successfully challenged the results while alleging irregularities, leading the Supreme Court to nullify the vote in a first in Africa.
Odinga boycotted the court-ordered repeat vote in October, saying electoral reforms had not been made. President Uhuru Kenyatta won that election with 98 percent of the votes.
The new allegations add to pressure on the government to investigate allegations of violence targeting opposition supporters.
The Human Rights Watch report earlier this month described rapes of men and women and cited victims and witnesses in the slums of the capital, Nairobi, and the opposition strongholds of Kisumu and Bungoma.
“Some were raped in the presence of family members, including young children,” that report said. “Most women said they were raped by policemen or men in uniform, many of whom carried guns, batons, tear gas canisters, whips, and wore helmets and other anti-riot gear.”