US News Kenya: In Meru, the actors are mobilizing to prevent potential electoral violence

01:50  31 july  2022
01:50  31 july  2022 Source:   rfi.fr

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More than ten days before the presidential elections and legislative in Kenya. Different organizations have already underlined their concerns as the vote approaches, in a country where post-electoral clashes are recurrent. In Meru, in the central region of Mont Kenya, local authorities and civil society are mobilizing for elections without violence.

With our correspondent in Kenya, Albane Thirouard

in early July, while the countryside is in full swing in Meru, a peace caravan crosses the county. Local authorities and civil society take part in it to dissuade certain behaviors perceived as sources of tensions.

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"One of the actions is to have candidates sign a charter in which they are committed to free, fair and peaceful elections, and above all to respect the result. We must better prevent than cure, ”explains Frederick Ndunga, regional advisor to Meru.

As with each ballot, The prospect of violence hangs over the process. in country . The population keeps in particular in memory of the events that followed the 2007 election where more than 1,000 people lost their lives and several thousands were moved.

Stone jets

At this stage, Frederick Ndunga calls for the responsibility of politicians: "Some candidates, when they realize that they are not very well perceived, start to make derogatory remarks. Words that describe competition as undesirable or less than nothing. This vocabulary, as we have seen in the past, encourages violence.

Mohamed Salim manages a local association. Several points attract its vigilance: “North of Meru, we saw some violence during the primaries of the parties. Politicians tend to buy alcohol from groups here to sow chaos in the face of their competitors. Young people especially are paid to cause problems. We don't want it all.

A few weeks ago, William Ruto's running mate had to shorten a political meeting in Meru because rival groups exchanged stones.

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This is interesting!