Nairobi — THE international community is concerned Kenya might degenerate into mayhem amid polls set or Thursday. The run-up to the poll has been volatile, characterised by violent protests against electoral authorities and the challenger, Raila Odinga, threatening to boycott the exercise. Police have also been accused of killing scores of opposition supporters after the initial poll held in August was disputed and annulled by the Supreme Court. The East African country has been tense since the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner.
On Monday (yesterday) the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, appealed for calm. In a joint statement, the leaders urge all political actors, parties and their supporters to create conditions for a peaceful election and refrain from any act of violence. "It is critical that all concerned work towards the preservation of calm and peace in the country," Guterres and Mahamat stated. The UN and AU leaders stress the need for the Kenyan security services to exercise restraint, use minimal force in performing their duties and respect the freedom and political liberties of all Kenyans. Kenya has a reputation for violent polls. Ten years ago, an estimated 1 500 people were killed and 600 000 displaced after Mwai Kibaki emerged victorious after contentious elections. The rivals formed a unity government to address the crisis.