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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
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

KS2 Teacher Cornwall

£21500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London