News 2008


Kenyan government met secretly with rebels

March 5, 2008

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 5 (UPI) - Some 1,500 people died in Kenya amid violence after a disputed presidential election last December, BBC reported Wednesday.

The British network said there are allegations of state-sanctioned violence in the African nation.

Sources told the BBC that there were high-level meetings at the official residence of the president between the banned Mungiki militia and senior government figures to hire the rebels to protect the president's Kikuyu community.

The government denied the allegations, BBC reported.

"No such meetings took place at State House or any government office," government spokesman Alfred Mutua was quoted as saying. "There's no way the president or any government official would meet openly or even in darkness with the Mungiki."

After the election non-Kikuyu homes were marked, then Mungiki gangs with machetes allegedly attacked people who were from other ethnic groups, the report said.

The Kenyan government deployed troops to the area to quell the Kikuyu youth, Mutua said.

"The Kenyan government ... used helicopters to drive them away, arrested them and actually got to kill quite a few of them torching houses," he said. "The government stamped on them immediately."