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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 19:03 GMT
At a glance: Kenya unrest
Kenya riot police in Nairobi (Archive pic: 31 December 2007)

Tension remains high in Kenya after the opposition called off a rally in the capital, Nairobi. Opposition leader Raila Odinga accuses President Mwai Kibaki of stealing last week's election. There have been violent clashes across the country.

This is a timeline of Thursday's events as they unfolded:

1819 GMT: Kenya's Assistant Information Minister Koigi Wa Wamwere admits to the BBC that the level of public trust in government and opposition has been affected by the post-election unrest. He says he'd like to see a full investigation into the claims of rigging, with fresh elections in three or six months.

1819 GMT: The US State Department says it is sending a top envoy to Kenya to try to promote a dialogue between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, AFP news agency reports.

1817 GMT: Orange Democratic Movement spokesman William Ruto confirms to the BBC that the ODM will try and proceed with their rally tomorrow. Another meeting is also planned for Tuesday, he says.

1728 GMT: Kenya's opposition spokesman Salim Lone says the rally "is on for tomorrow", Friday 4 January, according to Reuters. The announcement prompts confusion, after the march was earlier set back till next Tuesday.

Opposition supporter shouting on Nairobi street 3/1/08

1626 GMT: Kenya's police spokesman Eric Kiraithe tells the BBC the police need to be commended for showing restraint against "hooligans" who were demonstrating in Nairobi.

He said officers tried to negotiate and use persuasion rather than force. The two reported cases of police-inflicted casualties occurred in Mathare slum after a petrol station had been burned down, he said.

1626 GMT: Continued civil unrest in Kenya could hit humanitarian work across east and central Africa, Save the Children UK warns. "Kenya is a humanitarian hub where many aid organisations run operations across the wider region," the charity's David Wightwick said in a statement.

1618 GMT: Journalist and Africa Confidential analyst Patrick Smith in Nairobi tells the BBC that President Mwai Kibaki's comments raise the prospect of a possible power-sharing administration and seem a major step forward.

Two opposition MPs are arrested in Kisumu for mobilising people to stage a banned protest
1138 GMT
He says in the last few days a lot of people in Nairobi have been talking about this as a possible solution. However, a sticking point for the ODM could be the status of Mr Kibaki as president.

1546 GMT: The United States is pushing for political reconciliation, not necessarily a coalition government in Kenya, the US state department says, denying an earlier European Union statement, AFP news agency reports.

1506 GMT: The BBC's Kevin Machiro, fresh from the presidential press conference in Nairobi, says President Mwai Kibaki, 75, seemed a lot more energetic than in recent days and responded to journalists' questions in a jovial manner. As well as calling for calm and dialogue he said he would visit the areas affected by violence as part of the healing process.

1443 GMT: At a press conference, Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki appeals for an end to the violence and says he is ready for political dialogue, Reuters news agency reports.

1431 GMT: The UK is to give 1m ($2m) in emergency aid victims of the violence gripping Kenya, International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander says.

1421 GMT: Proposed joint mediation by the African Union and the Commonwealth between Kenya's political factions is dropped, AFP reports.

Ghana's President John Kufuor, the AU chairman, "is no longer coming", Commonwealth spokesman Julius Mucunguzi told the news agency.

1328 GMT: The scene at Nairobi's morgue "defies description", Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga says after seeing some of the bodies of the estimated 300 people killed in violence since Sunday. "We can only describe it as genocide on a grand scale," AP new agency quotes him as telling journalists.

1315 GMT: The BBC's Abraham Odeke in the Kenyan-Uganda border town of Malaba says refugees continue to cross into Uganda and about 1,000 people are in two reception camps. By day the Ugandan police are actively patrolling the border, with troops deploying at night.

A protester in the north of Mombasa has been wounded by a bullet
0915 GMT

The "boda-boda" motorbike taxis are still criss-crossing the border, but he says there is no sign of the 400-odd trucks that usually come through Malaba on their way from Kenya to the Ugandan capital, Kampala, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda with supplies.

There is a sense of anxiety in the town, he says, because of a shortage of basic commodities.

1315 GMT: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana agree to urge Kenya's rival political parties to seek a coalition government, a Solana spokeswoman says.

1224 GMT: The BBC's Karen Allen, in Eldoret, describes coming across a burning house.

Neighbours described how the occupant - a lady from the Kikuyu tribe - had fled before her house was attacked, and had sought refuge in a shelter.

It's clear the political tensions are whipping up local community rivalries, our correspondent says.

1220 GMT: The BBC's Peter Greste, in Mombasa, says police have been fighting running battles with opposition supporters, firing live rounds over their heads.

We went to protest peacefully but we met a mob on the way and joined them
Boniface Ombongi

The protesters raged through the ramshackle slums of Bombolulu in northern Mombasa, demanding Raila Odinga be installed as president.

The scene was repeated across the port city, but police appeared to have contained the situation - by mid-afternoon there were no reports of looting and only two casualties.

1151 GMT: Attorney General Amos Wako calls for an independent investigation into vote results "immediately".

1138 GMT: Two opposition MPs are arrested in Kisumu, western Kenya, for mobilising people to stage a banned protest over the presidential election, police said.

1124 GMT: The UK foreign office advises against all but essential travel to Kenya.

1113 GMT: Two tourist flights set to leave for Kenya from the UK in the next 48 hours will be empty, tourism officials say. The planes will be bringing British nationals back from Kenya.

1112 GMT: An ODM leader, William Ruto, confirms Thursday's rally is off , saying: "We shall end our meeting here. As ODM we are peaceful people. We don't want any more lives lost. Our fight is not with ordinary Kenyans. Our fight is with Mwai Kibaki."

Protesters march towards the rally in Nairobi
The rally is called off by the ODM
1101 GMT: The mass rally organised by the ODM is postponed until 8 January, a senior party official says, AFP news agency reports.

1026 GMT: Kenyan legislators backing President Mwai Kibaki urge the International Criminal Court to bring genocide charges against opposition leaders it blames for post-election ethnic violence, Reuters news agency reports.

0951 GMT: Kenyan opposition leaders leave their Nairobi headquarters en route to a scheduled rally, which police have banned, as a crowd of supporters surge behind them, a Reuters news agency witness says.

0915 GMT: A protester in the north of Mombasa has been wounded by a bullet, the BBC's Odiambo Joseph reports.

There have been running battles between the police and demonstrators carrying crude weapons and police have been firing live bullets in the air.

But police at the scene deny shooting anyone saying some of the crowd is armed with guns.

0903 GMT: The BBC's Ian Pannell, standing on a raised slope looking down on Kibera slum, a huge shanty town, says he can see a sea of rusty roofs trailing into the distance. Plumes of black smoking are rising from burning tyres.

Tear gas in Nairobi
Police use teargas on protesters

The police are firing teargas at the crowds which have been waving branches and chanting: "No Raila; no peace!" - in reference to the Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga - as they try to break through the police block to reach the ODM rally in Nairobi.

Earlier live shots were heard as officers fired into the air. But, he says, it is fair to say that so far, the police have managed to contain the situation.

0800 GMT: The BBC's Noel Mwakugu says as he drove into Nairobi from the west the towns on the outskirts of the capital seem empty.

Before he left Narok town, in the Maasai heartland, a planned demonstration hadn't started this morning, but people told him they were definitely going to go ahead with their march calling for President Mwai Kibaki to stand down.

What we are telling the ODM leaders is that the time for chest-thumping is not now
Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe
0545 GMT

The Narok to Nairobi highway, usually packed with tourists heading down to the Maasai Mara, was deserted and people in towns along the way were complaining about shortages of food because of the lack of transport since Sunday when the violence erupted.

He says this has also left many stranded - those trying to get home after the Christmas break or those who want to head back to the rural areas because many businesses have shut.

Police dressed in full anti-riot gear are manning the major entry roads into Nairobi to keep people from coming in for the ODM rally.

Some of the shops in Nairobi that had opened earlier this morning have started to close down in case of trouble.

Most of the city is deserted.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Excitement as Archbishop Tutu visits the ODM headquarters
0744 GMT: Five minutes ago Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrived at the Orange Democratic Movement's headquarters, journalist Patrick Smith tells the BBC.

As he got out of his car he was besieged by journalists. He said he was here to attend the All Africa Conference of Churches, but his mission was also to seek peace and reconciliation in Kenya.

He is now meeting with ODM leader Raila Odinga, and may also be seeing President Mwai Kibaki.

There is a lot of excitement about his presence.

0737 GMT: The BBC's Odiambo Joseph says in areas of the coastal city of Mombasa there have been running battles this morning between police and rowdy youths, most carrying placards showing pictures of Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga.

The police have fired tear gas into a crowd of about 500 people which is heading towards the tourist area of the city for a planned march to show their displeasure at the recent election results.

Fire in Kibera, Nairobi
Wooden kiosks were set on fire in Kibera, Nairobi
0734 GMT: The BBC's Wazir Hamsin at the entrance to Kibera slum says it is blocked by police.

A crowd of about 300 people are chanting "No Raila; no peace!" and are calling for President Kibaki to stand down.

The number of those arriving is building up, but the police are not allowing them through.

Some people have lit fires, but so far he hasn't seen the police firing tear gas or using water canon - even though the crowd is charging the police line.

0610 GMT: The BBC's Ian Pannell on the front line between the police and the opposition supporters of Raila Odinga on the edge of Nairobi's Kibera slum says people can be heard cheering - vowing that they will attend the rally called by their leader.

But a solid wall of riot police in maroon helmets, batons, shields, tear gas and water canon, is vowing not to let them pass.

Earlier today, he says, the mood was peaceful. But it has already started to turn violent and very few people believe that today will pass without more violence.

0545 GMT: Kenya's police spokesman Eric Kiraithe says the country is reasonably calm this morning and in the last 24 hours there weren't reported incidents of violence in most of the provinces: Western, Nyanza and Coast.

Protesters in Nairobi, Kenya
Protesters were chanting: "No Raila; no peace!"

However, two deaths were reported in Nairobi where some informal settlements were burned - and in the Rift Valley there were also some skirmishes between supporters of different political parties.

He says the police have not authorised the ODM rally because of the situation on the ground.

"The gathering of any one political group will certainly invite retaliation from other groups and our efforts now are to calm down the situation," he told the BBC.

"What we are telling the ODM leaders is that the time for chest-thumping is not now; the time for intransigence is not now."

0539 GMT: Overnight Eldoret was quiet and there was little activity in the town, which has been the epicentre of the most shocking violence, the BBC's Wanyama wa Chebusira reports.

But he says he woke up to hundreds of post-election victims fleeingunder police escort.

There is a heavy security presence in this town.

0537 GMT: The BBC's Wazir Hamsin in Nairobi says as well as heavy security around Uhuru Park, where the Orange Democratic Movement rally is due to take place, there is a heavy presence at the city mortuary adjacent to the Kibera slum.

The other side of town seems calm. Shops are opening, roads leading to the town centre have been opened. He says he hasn't seen people walking in groups or assembling to go to the rally, which the government has banned.

All the newspapers today have the same headline: "Save our beloved country." The papers are appealing to political leaders to call for peace and to end the violence that has rocked the country.

0439 GMT: The BBC's Odiambo Joseph in Mombasa says there is a lot of tension in the city about what is going to happen today at the Orange Democratic rally in Nairobi. He says many men spent the night outside, not sleeping in their houses - a lot of vigilante groups have been formed, arming themselves with pangas, machetes and other crude weapons.

A few minutes ago he saw a load of police patrolling the area.

The provincial commissioner has also called on people to remain calm and assured them of security, and the Council of Imams and Preachers has issued a statement asking people not to resort to revenge missions.

0329 GMT: The BBC's Michael Kaloki returns from Nairobi's Kibera slum which he says is unusually quiet at a time of the morning when people would be walking around making their way to work.

He didn't see any police officers, there was an unusual calm. He then drove past Uhuru Park where the rally is due to take place at 1000 local time (0700 GMT). He saw police officers 2m apart lining the length of the park facing the Uhuru Highway, a main road into Nairobi. No-one was inside the park.

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