At least 24 people, including a 9-year-old girl, have been killed in Kenya in the violence that erupted after the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
“Specifically, these cases indicate that the casualties were felled by bullets and the same has been corroborated by family and community members who have indicated that they were killed during the protests which broke out in various parts of the country,” the independent rights group said in a statement. Of those death, 17 were killed in the capital Nairobi, the group said.
Kenyatta, the 55-year-old son of the country’s founding President, won a second five-year term Friday, defeating veteran opposition leader and longtime rival Raila Odinga in a tense contest.
Kenyatta, who promised to create 1.3 million jobs, got 54% of the vote while Odinga, who vowed to fight corruption, received 45%.
Protests and violence broke out almost immediately.
Most of the demonstrators were supporters of 72-year-old former political prisoner Odinga, who has rejected the results of the presidential election, calling the vote rigged. National election officials have decried the accusations, saying the vote was free and credible.
Protests erupted in and around Kisumu, a stronghold of defeated opposition leader Odinga. One person was killed overnight in Kisumu, police said.
Violence also broke out in Nairobi’s slum of Mathare, where tear gas and gunshots rang out all night, witnesses said.
The 9-year-old, Stabhay Nyarangi Mokaya, was killed by a stray bullet during protests in Mathare early Saturday, her father confirmed.
“There were three kids playing in the balcony on the fourth floor, and then all of a sudden there was a gunshot which hit the young girl,” Wycliff Mokaya said.
Mokaya said even the police were surprised to find out a bullet had hit the balcony. He said the girl’s mother was “in the worst pain.”
Kenya Red Cross Society said that it had treated at least 93 people injured in the violence.
Most of Kenya is calm
Violence in Kenya could have ripple effects far beyond the nation of 47 million people. As the largest economy in East Africa, Kenya is a crucial trade route to the continent and provides an important buffer of stability in a region that includes the fledgling Somali government and the politically tense Sudan and South Sudan.
Beyond the deadly incident in Kisumu, most of the nation remained relatively calm Saturday.