Rift Valley clashes claim 19 lives as Annan makes moves to end crisis

Kenyans in the Rift Valley town of Naivasha were braced for fresh violence today after a spate of ethnic killings which complicated efforts by former UN boss Kofi Annan to resolve a month-long crisis.

At least 19 people were killed here on Sunday in battles between members of President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe and Luos and Kalenjins who backed his rival Raila Odinga in disputed elections a month ago.

A Reuters reporter heard screams late into the night. Mobs stopped cars on the main highway and demanded passengers' identity cards. One man was beaten before being kicked under the wheels of a minibus as it sped to safety.

At least 750 people have died since the Dec. 27 polls plunged Kenya into a spiral of violence, battering its image as an east African trade and tourism hub and one of the continent's more stable nations.

Negotiators led by Annan have told the two rival camps to select four representatives each and study a blueprint for further talks in the next 24 hours, an official involved in the mediation said.

But residents in Naivasha, on Kenya's main western highway, appeared to put little faith in Annan's mediation efforts.

"Those people shouting for Raila, they don't want peace. They have been killing our people, burning our houses," said David Gitonga, a Naivasha resident who had been manning a roadblock until the army cleared it away.

"Now it's our turn to have justice."

Odinga put the death toll in Naivasha at 30 and blamed the government for trying to divert the attention of the mediation team away from the original electoral dispute.

The Kenya Red Cross said it wanted to retrieve and count the bodies in Naivasha before giving a definitive toll. Charred corpses lay among collapsed rafters in one house in the town.

Annan said on Saturday that the crisis in Kenya had gone well beyond an electoral dispute, denouncing "gross and systematic" human rights abuses.

On Thursday, he brokered the first talks between Kibaki and Odinga since the troubles began.

But hopes of a quick solution evaporated hours later amid fresh verbal attacks by both camps, and that night Nakuru, the Rift Valley's provincial capital, descended into chaos.

Deep seated tribal rivalries over land, business and power - many of them sown more than 45 years ago under British colonial rule - have eclipsed the political stand-off.

A quarter of a million people have been forced from their homes by the turmoil and many Kenyans fear that the scars will remain long after the political crisis has subsided.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain