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A least two protesters killed in Kenya

By on June 7, 2016

At least two people have died and five have been injured on monday after Kenyan police opened fire to disperse oppositionprotests in the western city of Kisumu.

Police fired into the air to break up a crowd trying to march on the Kisumu office of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Protesters, accusing the commission of pro-government bias and demanding its members resign before elections in August next year, blocked roads with burning tyres in Kisumu and in Nairobi’s Kibera slum.

Nairobi’s police chief had warned opposition supporters not to take part in Monday’s protest in the Kenyan capital “if you value your life”.

Officers shot dead three people in similar protests in May. They said they were acting in self-defence.

Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said those shot had been looting supermarkets.

There was no immediate police comment on Monday’s reported deaths. Kenyan television reported at least one person killed.

Western ambassadors have accused the police of using excessive force and called for dialogue in a nation prone to political strife. The 2007 election triggered weeks of ethnic bloodshed and the 2013 result was disputed.

A meeting last week between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga failed to defuse tensions.
Odinga told demonstrators that more protests would follow if there was no dialogue on reforming the IEBC. “We respect the government but they must also respect us,” he said. “If there is no dialogue next week, we will protest twice.”

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