The United States condemns the "excessive use of force" by Kenya's security services during a demonstration against the electoral oversight body, the embassy in Nairobi said Tuesday. Police beat some demonstrators with batons and kicked others Monday after firing tear gas and water cannon to disperse a crowd outside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Some demonstrators threw stones at police. "The United States deplores the excessive use of force by the Kenyan security services and the violence around the demonstrations," U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec said. "We welcome announcements by Kenyan authorities that all reports of the excessive use of force will be investigated."
Kenyan police have fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters who had gathered to demand the resignation of a body supervising next year's presidential elections. Hundreds demonstrated on Monday in Nairobi near the office of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). They were demanding the disbandment of the electoral body, saying it would rig the 2017 presidential elections. Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi, reporting from Nairobi, said security was tight in the Kenyan capital after the protesters were dispersed but had vowed to gather every Monday. "The protesters were led by opposition leader Raila Odinga demanding the resignation of the electoral commission as they believe there is already a plan to rig next year's general elections in the favour of the ruling party," she said.
Kenya's main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, addressed rallies of cheering supporters in two Nairobi strongholds Sunday and called for a work stoppage to protest the deaths of at least 24 people in post-election clashes with police. "Tomorrow there is no work," Odinga told supporters gathered in Kibera, a slum district of the capital. "We predicted they would steal the election, and that's what happened. We are not done yet. We will not give up."
NAIROBI, Kenya – Distraught Kenyan schoolgirls huddled against an alleyway wall, trapped between stone-throwing protesters and police wielding clubs and firing tear gas in an outbreak of violence following Kenya's disputed election that left national divisions more entrenched. The girls scrambled to safety in a scene that captured the anguish of a flawed democracy facing protracted pressures unless Kenya's rival camps can somehow accommodate. The question of how the democratic institutions and relatively open society of this leading East African nation will respond is a bellwether for the continent, where democracy evolves in some places and authoritarianism takes root in others. "This is not just about Kenya," said Murithi Mutiga, a Nairobi-based senior analyst for the International Crisis Group. "It's about the idea of moving toward greater and greater political competition and freedom and against those that say, 'Let's privilege economic development and forget political liberalism for now.'"
Kenyan police fired tear gas and water cannon at stone-throwing protesters during a demonstration in the centre of Nairobi against an electoral oversight body, which the opposition wants to scrap. Officers on Monday, armed with batons, confronted hundreds of protesters outside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the third such clash in less than a month. The opposition leader promised more protests. Kenya does not hold its next presidential and parliamentary polls until August 2017, but politicians are already trying to galvanise their supporters. The opposition CORD coalition, led by Raila Odinga who lost the 2013 vote, has accused the IEBC of bias.