Accessibility links

African Union Head Travels to Kenya in Bid to Halt Violence


The head of the African Union is traveling to Kenya Wednesday to try to mediate an end to post-election violence that has killed more than 300 people in the east African nation.

The visit by Ghanian President John Kufuor comes one day after 30 people died when a mob set fire to a church in the western town of Eldoret. The victims had fled into the church to seek refuge from violence.

Eldoret is in Kenya's Rift Valley, which is home to President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe

Five days of fighting between members of the Kikuyu tribe and the Luo tribe of opposition leader Raila Odinga have plunged Kenya into chaos. Mr. Odinga has accused Mr. Kibaki of rigging the results from last week's presidential election to ensure his victory.

In a joint statement Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband say there were reports of "serious irregularities" in the vote counting. They called for an "intensive political and legal process" to end the unrest.

Mr. Odinga has planned an opposition rally for Thursday in Nairobi's Uhuru Park, but police said Tuesday they will not authorize it because of security concerns.

Mr. Kibaki said Tuesday that Kenyan political parties should meet immediately and appeal for calm. But Mr. Odinga refused, saying he would meet only if Mr. Kibaki admits to not winning last week's election.

The Kenyan newspaper The Standard, reports that electoral commission chairman Samuel Kivuitu says he was pressured by members of Mr. Kibaki's party to quickly announce the results of the vote, and adds that he does not know if the president actually won.

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

XS
SM
MD
LG