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Probe allegations of police brutality, urge US and Britain

By Luke Anami | Published Tue, October 31st 2017 at 10:21, Updated October 31st 2017 at 10:25 GMT +3
A protester (foreground) cries out in pain after he was shot, allegedly by police, during demonstrations in Migori town on October 25, 2017. [File, Standard]

The US and United Kingdom have called on the Government to investigate alleged police brutality against NASA demonstrators and prosecute those found culpable. Kenyan security agencies have been accused of using excessive use of force against protesters, including use of live bullets in Kisumu, Migori and Kibera in Nairobi.

In a statement, the US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and UK minister for Africa Rory Stewart called for investigations into the allegations of police brutality against demonstrators in the immediate aftermath of the repeat presidential election which was held last week.

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The diplomats have over the past week intensified pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga, urging them to stop political games following the repeat presidential election.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of excessive use of force by the police; we urge that all such allegations be fully investigated and any officers who have acted outside the law be held to account,” said Godec.

In a statement, Godec said the security forces should show maximum restraint in containing demonstrators. The UK minister echoed the US concerns and warned that the country can easily slide into ethnic violence if measures are not taken to stop the brutality. “All allegations of abuses on the part of the security forces should be fully investigated and action taken against security personnel found to have committed violations,” said Stewart.

“I have been deeply concerned by outbreaks of ethnic and political violence. Leaders and politicians should categorically and publicly reject violence and make every effort to ensure their supporters do so as well.” Stewart called on the police to exercise restraint when dealing with NASA demonstrators following the announcement of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election.

“I urge security forces to exercise maximum restraint and call on protestors who are exercising their constitutional rights to do so peacefully,” said Stewart. He appealed for calm following the yesterday’s announcement by IEBC.

“I call on all Kenyans to come together at this critical moment in an open and transparent national dialogue, to reject the politics of hatred, and to resolve divisions so that Kenya moves forward towards greater peace and prosperity.”

“The UK stands together with all Kenyans at this critical time. I welcome the work of many Kenyans to help keep the peace and assist those affected by the violence,” he added.

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