Kenyan elections marred by violence
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.At least 15 people were killed in attacks by machete-wielding gangs as Kenyans voted in a presidential election they hope will rebuild the nation’s image after a disputed 2007 poll unleashed weeks of tribal bloodshed.
Just hours before the start of voting and with long queues across the east African country, at least nine security officers in Kenya’s restive coastal region were hacked to death, and six attackers were also killed.
Officials and candidates have made impassioned appeals to avoid a repeat of the tribal rampages that erupted five years ago when disputes over the poll result fuelled clashes between tribal loyalists of rival candidates.
More than 1,200 people were killed, shattering Kenya’s reputation as one of Africa’s most stable democracies and bringing its economy to a standstill.
As in 2007, the race has come down to a high-stakes duel between two candidates, this time between Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the loser in 2007 to outgoing President Mwai Kibaki. Both contenders will depend heavily on votes from their tribes.
The United States and Western donors are worried about the stability of a nation that is an ally in the fight against militant Islam in the region.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff