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UN calls for calm in Kenya after deadly protests

UN calls for calm in Kenya after deadly protests
From Al Jazeera - August 13, 2017

The United Nations has urged Kenya's defeated opposition to calm its supporters after claims of election rigging sparked violent protests that officials say left 11 people dead.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on defeated candidate Raila Odingato "send a clear message to his supporters urging them to refrain from violence," a statement on Saturday said.

Police opened fire to disperse protesters who blocked roads and set up barricades in the capital, Nairobi, on Saturday, a day after incumbentPresident Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the presidential poll.

Kenya is no stranger to post-election violence and scars still run deep from a disputed 2007 vote that led to two months of ethno-political clashes, leaving 1,100 dead and 600,000 displaced.

There were also riots in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu where supporters of Odinga claim they have been robbed of victory.

A Kenyan human rights watchdog said at least 26 people have been killed in the post-election violence, while oppostion leaders claim the death toll is much higher.

Guterres' message was echoed by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

"We join the Kenyan people in mourning those who have died, calling on those with influence to exercise restraint at this difficult time to ensure calm, and to honour the Kenyans who turned out in such number to vote to determine their future," said Johnson.

READ MORE: Relative calm in Kisumu after Kenya election clashes

The European Union's foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini also urged the opposition "to respect the results and to use legal means available for appeals and complaints".

Not backing down

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