“Massacre” in Kibera – Medecins san Frontieres

“We have seen violence over the last two weeks but today it has really exploded. Young guys — 13 years — have died, young women, young men, this is unbelievable … this is like a massacre.”


Police Spokesman says police are using live bullets because of a shortage of rubber ones!

Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:25pm IST

By Nick Tattersall and Barry Moody
Photobucket

Kibera – running for cover

NAIROBI (Reuters) – At least 13 people were killed in Kenya on Friday when police opened fire in a Nairobi slum and ethnic groups clashed during protests against the disputed re-election of President Mwai Kibaki.

The worst bloodshed was in the huge Kibera slum, an opposition stronghold, where at least seven people were killed and a dozen wounded by police automatic gunfire. The French medical charity MSF called it a “massacre”.

Police also opened fire and lobbed tear gas in the port of Mombasa, where one person was killed in protests after Friday Muslim prayers, and the southern town of Narok.

Friday’s deaths were the worst toll from three days of protests called by opposition leader Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) against Kibaki’s re-election.

At least 21 people have been killed in the demonstrations, which were due to end on Friday. About 650 people have been killed since the disputed Dec. 27 election.

The opposition and human rights groups accuse the police of using excessive force and firing indiscriminately at unarmed protesters. Police say they only shoot at rioters and looters.

Reuters journalists counted seven bodies from the Kibera shooting, including a man with the back of his head blown off and 15-year-old girl, Rosina Otieno. Both were carried to the nearby Masaba hospital morgue in a white pickup truck.

Otieno’s aunt, Martha Mtishi, told Reuters: “If they can kill a little girl let them kill us all.”
Kibera 18.01.08

At least 11 wounded people were brought to the hospital. “We need more doctors because … we cannot handle an emergency of this magnitude,” hospital administrator Joe Momanyi said.

Outside the hospital a crowd shouted: “Murderers and killers.”

A Reuters reporter saw police shooting protesters in Kibera. One man in a red baseball cap and black T-shirt dropped to the ground, blood gushing from his knee.

Protesters built a burning barricade in the slum, and boys hiding in shacks and firing stones from slingshots played a cat-and-mouse game with police.

“They were trying to uproot railway lines. The police came to stop them and started shooting. They started howling and running away,” said James Muga, an unemployed 45-year-old as repeated bursts of automatic gunfire rang out.

VIOLENCE SPREADS

In southwest Kenya, officials said five people were killed on Friday in clashes between Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe and Maasai anti-government protesters in Narok town, gateway to the Maasai Mara game reserve.

They were killed with arrows and machetes.

Maasai and Kikuyu had been fighting in the area since Thursday with homes and shops burned and at least 23 wounded, the police said. Riot police had to be sent in to clear barricades erected by Maasais, a Reuters journalist said.

The opposition said police fatally shot two protesters in Mombasa, Kenya’s Indian Ocean port. Officials could confirm only one death there.

In Kibera, MSF official Ian Van Engelgem told Reuters: “We have seen violence over the last two weeks but today it has really exploded. Young guys — 13 years — have died, young women, young men, this is unbelievable … this is like a massacre.”

Odinga visited Masaba hospital and told reporters: “You have seen what we have seen, a shocking thing … this government is determined to finish anyone who is opposed to what they have done.”

Kenya’s swift slide into crisis has dented its democratic credentials, horrified world powers, scared off tourists and hurt one of Africa’s most promising economies.

A statement by envoys from nine countries including Britain, the Netherlands and Australia, urged Kibaki and Odinga to meet for direct talks without delay or preconditions, and called on Kenya’s security forces to show restraint.

“We have seen clear and disturbing footage of the use of lethal force on unarmed demonstrators,” it said.

ODM said earlier it would call off street protests after Friday and switch its campaign to small strikes and boycotts of companies run by Kibaki allies.

(Additional reporting by Bryson Hull, Nick Tattersall, Bosire Nyairo, Joseph Sudah, George Obulutsa)

Rosina Otieno

Bodies lie in slum after Kenya police shootings
Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:30pm EST
By Nick Tattersall

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Rosina Otieno, 15, was watching television with her family when police fired on anti-government protesters outside her house in Nairobi’s vast Kibera slum.

She opened the door to see what was happening and immediately fell back into the small room with a bullet in her stomach, her father Thomas told Reuters.

“The gun was aimed at her, it was not a bullet that just came and hit her,” Otieno told Reuters as his daughter’s body was driven to nearby Masaba hospital in a white pick-up truck.

“The policeman turned at her and directed the gun.”Rosina shared the journey with a neighbor, his skull shattered by another bullet.For three days security forces around Kenya have blocked banned demonstrations against President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election at a December 27 poll the opposition says was rigged.

Authorities say demonstrations would lead to looting and more violence.At least seven people were killed on Friday in Kibera, where corpses lay in the muddy alleys of the sprawling shanty-town.Human rights groups and the opposition accuse police of firing indiscriminately at unarmed protesters. The authorities say they only shoot looters and rioters.

Youths armed with stones and slingshots hid among the tin-roofed shacks of Kibera, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with scores of heavily armed officers.

Some tried to uproot a railway line running through the slum, but scattered when police started shooting.Bursts of automatic gunfire triggered women’s screams and residents tried to scamper to safety.

One man in a red baseball cap and black T-shirt fell to the ground, blood gushing from his knee.Charles Omuse, 27, said he and his neighbors were forced out of their homes after officers fired tear gas.

“We heard some bullets and we tried to come out of our house because of the tear gas, but they shot,” he said as he arrived at the Masaba Hospital with three wounded people.Doctors said they were overwhelmed and running out of saline solution, antibiotic drips and bandages.

“The number of doctors we have cannot handle an emergency of this magnitude,” said one hospital administrator called Joe.Outside, a crowd chanted “Murderers. Killers.” Amid the chaos, Kibaki’s rival Raila Odinga arrived at the hospital.

“These are school-going children, shot in front of their houses,” he said. “This is genocide in the making and this is what the government is doing all over the country.”Rosina’s aunt said she was also ready to die.

“Let Kibaki kill us in Kibera. If he told police to come and kill us in Kibera, let them do so,” Martha Mtishi told Reuters. “We are ready for anything now. If they can kill a little girl let them kill us all.”

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