Threat of ethnic violence looms in Nairobi slum

NAIROBI, Kenya — The Latest on Kenya following its elections (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

Witnesses in Kenya say machete-wielding members of two rival ethnic groups are confronting each other in a Nairobi slum following days of election violence.

The stand-off between members of the Luo and Kikuyu groups is occurring in Mathare, where police and rioters have clashed in the days since Kenya’s diputed Aug. 8 election.

An Associated Press journalist at the scene says some of the people involved in the confrontation are carrying machetes. The journalist says he saw a Luo who had a deep machete cut in his head after he was attacked by Kikuyus.

The possibility of an outbreak of ethnic violence has been a concern because many Kenyans vote along ethnic lines. President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was declared the election winner, is a Kikuyu; opposition leader Raila Odinga, who alleged vote-rigging, is a Luo.

More than 1,000 people died in ethnic-fueled violence following Kenya’s 2007 election. Odinga was the losing candidate in that vote, and was later made prime minister in a power-sharing agreement designed to defuse tension.

4:25 p.m.

The office of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says recent protests over the country’s disputed election have been violent and unlawful.

Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said Sunday that any peaceful protests are a constitutional right and would be protected by police.

“But sadly, we have seen violent protests, in which property has been damaged, and lives have been endangered,” Esipisu said. “The violent protests are unlawful, so let me be perfectly clear here: The police will not tolerate breaches of the peace; instead, they will protect the lives and property of Kenyans; and they will restore law and order.”

Opposition leader Raila Odinga said Tuesday’s election was rigged. The election commission denies the allegation and has declared that President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second term. Kenyan police deny a human rights report that…

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