Uhuru Kenyatta elected Kenyan president

Updated 10 March 2013
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Uhuru Kenyatta elected Kenyan president

NAIROBI: Uhuru Kenyatta narrowly won Kenya’s presidential election, final results showed on Saturday, but his main rival refused to concede, raising tensions following the key poll.
Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s founding president and one of Africa’s richest men who faces an international crimes against humanity trial, narrowly got enough votes to avoid a second round runoff against rival Raila Odinga.
But while Kenyatta supporters danced in the streets after the provisional results were unveiled, followers of Odinga seethed.
The reactions of the rival camps are being closely watched in Kenya, where deadly violence erupted after disputed December 2007 elections, shattering the country’s image as a beacon of regional stability.
Kenyatta took 50.07 percent of the vote, according to the election commission figures, scraping by the 50-percent threshold needed to avoid a second round by around 8,400 votes.
“I therefore declare Uhuru Kenyatta the duly elected president of the Republic of Kenya,” Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said, confirming figures given earlier Saturday.
The 51-year-old outgoing deputy prime minister — charismatic and able to appeal to all classes — will become the first leader to take power whilst facing trial in The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).
But Odinga, the outgoing prime minister in his third attempt at the top job, is expected to challenge the results in court.
Kenyatta received 6,173,433 votes out of a total 12,330,028 ballots cast, while Odinga got 43.31 percent.
Excited crowds of thousands chanting Kenyatta’s name poured onto the streets of towns across the country shortly after figures were released in the early hours of Saturday morning, dressed in the red colors of Kenyatta’s party.
He and running mate William Ruto — who also faces an ICC trial later this year for violence after polls five years ago — said in a statement they were “proud and honored for the trust being put on them” by the Kenyan people.
But Odinga was “not conceding because this election was flawed,” his senior adviser Salim Lone said, adding that he would contest the results at the Supreme Court but also that Odinga was urging his supporters “to remain calm.”
Concerns were high as to how Odinga loyalists will react, five years after a wave of bloodshed in which over 1,100 people were killed following disputed December 2007 elections.
In the western town of Kisumu, an Odinga stronghold and one of the worst hit areas by violence five years ago, hundreds of youths chanted the slogan “no Raila, no peace” at armed police, but they later dispersed peacefully after appeals from community leaders.
“We can’t accept this — we are ready to die, we are ready for anything,” said businessman Joshua Owino, a Luo like Odinga from Kisumu.
Police chief David Kimaiyo appealed for calm in a televised statement, telling Kenyans “to control our tempers, we need to control our disappointment, to accept the outcome of the elections in peace and the spirit of fair play.”
There have been no major incidents of violence reported on Saturday.
Odinga also ran for president in 2007 and has always insisted he was robbed of victory, which went to his main rival Mwai Kibaki, who was backed by Kenyatta.
Both Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto, 46, who will become vice-president if results are confirmed, face ICC charges over the violence in the aftermath of the 2007 elections, including orchestrating murder, forcible transfer and persecution.
Both protest their innocence and have repeatedly said they would cooperate with the court, but Kenyatta will likely become the second African leader the ICC wants to put on trial.
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir faced trial on war crimes charges at the ICC when he was re-elected in 2010, but has always defied an arrest warrant from the court.
The counting process for Monday’s election has been marred by technical problems and complaints from both sides.
Odinga’s camp alleged that results had been “doctored,” while Kenyatta’s party raised concerns over the inclusion of spoiled ballots in the overall total.
The rigging claims, dismissed by Kenya’s electoral commission, have added to tensions in a nation still scarred by the weeks of violence that followed the contested polls five years ago.


Two suicide bombers kill three in north Nigeria mosque

Updated 22 April 2018
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Two suicide bombers kill three in north Nigeria mosque

KANO: Two suicide bombers killed three Muslim worshippers in a mosque in a northeast Nigerian town still being rebuilt after virtual destruction by Boko Haram in 2014, sources told AFP Sunday.
The bombers, a man and a woman, detonated their explosives inside the mosque during morning prayers on Saturday in the town of Bama in Borno state.
The pair "blew themselves up in a mosque while people were praying, killing three people," said Baba Shehu Gulumba, Bama local government chairman.
A senior military officer in Bama confirmed the death toll, adding that nine people were also injured.
"Some of the injured are in a critical condition and may hardly make it. They have been transferred to Maiduguri for better medical care," said the military officer, who asked not to be named.
The attack came two weeks after residents began returning to the town which was destroyed by Boko Haram four years ago.
Bama, a major trading hub on the road to Cameroon and home to 270,000 people, was captured in September 2014, forcing residents to flee to Maiduguri, the state capital.
When it was retaken by the Nigerian military in March 2015, 85 percent of the town had been demolished by the jihadists.
Borno state officials said it would require 40 billion naira (94 million euros, $111 million) to rebuild the town, a staggering amount in the impoverished region.
According to officials 11,000 homes had been rebuilt which residents said represent one-third of those destroyed.
On April 5 the state's information commissioner Mohammed Bulama said 1,200 people had returned to the town in a phased resettlement of the 100,000 displaced residents living in camps in Maiduguri.
Boko Haram has been notorious for suicide attacks on civilian and military targets in response to army offensives that have put pressure on the militant group.
Recent days have seen a lull in such attacks.
However on Friday 10 people including four militia fighting the militants were injured when two female suicide bombers attacked Amarwa village in Konduga district, 38 kilometres from Maiduguri, according to militia sources.