Saturday, January 19, 2008


Kenya's opposition has called for another demonstration this coming thursday, following three days of bloody protests against last month's national election that was marred by irregularities.

Opposition party chairman Henry Kosgey told reporters in Nairobi Saturday the party will resume its peaceful rallies on Thursday (24/01/2008). He said the opposition will use all available means to bring down President Mwai Kibaki's government.

Friday was supposed to be the last of three days of planned protests. ODM had said it was ending the protests because civilians were paying too heavy of a price.
"We have seen a lot of suffering caused by reckless police action against peaceful protesters," Salim Lone, the ODM spokesman, said.

Kenyan riot police charge through tear gas at Orange Democratic Movement followers during protests in Kibera slums, Nairobi, 18 Jan 2008
Kenyan riot police charge through tear gas at Orange Democratic Movement followers during protests in Kibera slums, Nairobi, 18 Jan 2008.
Some reports say that at least 33 people have been killed since ODM started nationwide demonstrations last week, provoking a violent police crackdown in most parts of the country. Four people were shot dead in Kibera on Friday and another was killed shortly after Friday prayers in Mombasa, police said. Eight people were killed overnight. "The demonstrators in Kibera were charging at the officers with stones and that is when police fired at them. Four of them have been killed," a police commander was quoted by some news agency as saying.

AU and other leaders have been trying to mediate between ODM and kibaki government to try to resolve the growing crisis.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department called on Kenya's political leadership to find a peaceful solution to the situation.

The party will begin the week with an interdenominational funeral service in Kisumu Town. The party says the ceremony will commemorate the deaths of supporters it claims police shoot dead. It is believed the funeral and prayer meetings would provide an opportunity for the leaders to meet supporters and deliver speeches they have been longing to hold. Party leader, Mr Raila Odinga said ODM was determined to ensure justice prevails over the disputed presidential poll and said mass action would resume alongside new tactics.

In Nairobi, action returns on Wednesday where a similar mass interdenominational funeral service will be conducted at Ligi Ndogo grounds.

On Thursday, the party plans to hold a peaceful mass action countrywide. The Government has outlawed political assemblies and the mass action is expected to bring a fresh round of confrontation between police and protesters.

Interdenominational prayers countrywide will crown the week.

ODM says the prayers are expected to commemorate "the martyrs who have given their lives in their peaceful struggle for democracy."

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