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US, EU Speak Out Against Pre-Election Violence in Kenya


U.S. and EU officials have condemned violence in Kenya that has killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands ahead of next week's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Friday, the European Union's chief election monitor Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said the EU observer mission deplores the violence, and that it has no place in a genuine democratic election.

He said the mission is particularly concerned about the violence in the Kuresoi and Mount Elgon regions of Kenya's Rift Valley province. An estimated 300 people have been killed this year in Mount Elgon, where activists say conflicts over land have been aggravated by politicians seeking votes.

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya also issued a statement Friday, calling on all Kenyan politicians and officials to publicly denounce all forms of violence, ethnic incitement and electoral malpractice.

The embassy said the U.S. observer mission will deploy nearly 200 Kenyan and American staff members as monitors for the December 27 elections.

Opinion polls in Kenya show voters remain closely divided between incumbent President Mwai Kibaki and his main rival Raila Odinga, six days before the elections.

Civil society groups have accused both candidates of bribing voters and election fraud.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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