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Kenyan Government Agency Links Violence in North to Elections

Posted by Administrator on January 10, 2012

Clashes in northern Kenya that the United Nations says have killed at least 46 people are linked to general elections scheduled to take place in the East African nation later this year, a government agency said.

“The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has been to Isiolo and Moyale and has established that the ongoing violent conflicts are politically motivated in anticipation of the 2012 elections,” the commission said in an e-mailed statement today from Nairobi, the capital. It didn’t provide further details.

Intercommunal fighting between the Borana and Gabra livestock-herding communities around Moyale, about 590 kilometers (367 miles) northeast of Nairobi, has also displaced thousands of people, the UN humanitarian agency said last week. The violence is being fuelled by competition for land for grazing and livestock, it said.

Two months of violence following a disputed presidential election in December 2007 left 1,500 people dead and forced another 300,000 to flee their homes. The ethnic clashes were triggered after the election returned President Mwai Kibaki to office, and which his political rival Raila Odinga said was rigged.

The Kenyan commission called on communities in the affected areas to immediately cease hostilities and begin talks to end the conflict.

“We appeal to the political and local leadership, particularly the members of parliament to refrain from any acts that will exacerbate the already volatile situation,” Chairman Mzalendo Kibunja said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at  eombok@bloomberg.net.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-10/kenyan-government-agency-links-violence-in-north-to-elections.html

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