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Tuesday, December 23, 1997 Published at 20:56 GMT



World: Africa

Kenyan campaign marred by violence
image: [ President Moi looks set to win the elections ]
President Moi looks set to win the elections

Up to 50 people have now died in pre-election violence in the run up to next week's elections in Kenya.

In the latest incident, two civilians and two policemen were killed when violence flared at a National Development Party rally in Kisumu in western Kenya on Saturday, the day after President Moi declared the area to be a special security zone.

One policeman who was involved in the incident admitted that police had opened fire on a group of Kisiis after firing in the air had failed to disperse them. The BBC's correspondent in Kenya says the security forces, which included special paramilitary police, were outnumbered.

The Masai and the Kisii tribes have long fought over cattle but in recent weeks the violence has escalated. Victims have been stoned, knifed or shot with arrows and mutilated.

Parties in the Kenyan election have been warned against getting involved in violence, but few seem to have heeded the advice.


[ image: Richard Leakey's party was only cleared to contest the elections at the last minute]
Richard Leakey's party was only cleared to contest the elections at the last minute
While the police were opening fire at the NDP rally in Kisumu, there were running battles between supporters of the ruling KANU party, and Richard Leakey's SAFINA party in Garissa Town.

The Kenyan paper 'The Nation' reported that the trouble started when the Kanu youths, who carried sticks, stones, metal bars and other weapons, disrupted the rally. Safina supporters then fought back, engaging the Kanu supporters in running battles.

Policemen had to stop Kanu supporters from attacking vehicles carrying Safina secretary-general Richard Leakey to the local airstrip, where they had left their plane.


[ image: President Moi has banned campaigning in the Western province]
President Moi has banned campaigning in the Western province
The opposition parties are not happy about President Moi's decision to close off the area in western Kenya to outside campaigners because of continuing tribal clashes.


 





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