Up to 1,000 killed in Kenya crisis

Riots and post-election violence in Kenya may have killed up to 1,000 people, the opposition said on Monday as it halted protests and President Mwai Kibaki invited his main rival to talks.

The east African country has been hit by a wave of demonstrations and tribal clashes since Kibaki's disputed win in December 27 polls over opposition challenger Raila Odinga.

The government raised its death toll to nearly 500 and 255,000 displaced on Monday. But Odinga told Reuters that "closer to a thousand" people might have died.

Aid workers say the toll could go higher after one of Kenya's worst crises since independence from Britain in 1963.

Kibaki's office said he had invited Odinga and several religious leaders to talks on Friday on how to stop the violence, consolidate peace and forge "national reconciliation".

Odinga's aides could not immediately be reached for comment.

As international mediation efforts were stepped up, the head of the African Union, John Kufuor, was due to arrive in Nairobi on Tuesday, and Odinga said the Ghanaian president could begin chairing talks as early as Wednesday.

World powers have been horrified by the sudden outbreak of bloodshed in a country once seen as one of the continent's most stable democracies and promising economies.

In her first public comments since arriving on Friday, Washington's top diplomat for Africa said the crisis had not shaken U.S. confidence in Kenya as a strong regional hub.

"It has actually further deepened our sense that Kenya is a strong regional partner," Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer told a news conference.

She said Kenyans had come together to "haul themselves back from the brink", but had been let down by their leaders.

"They have been cheated by their leadership and their institutions. ... The political leaders have to stop the violence ... and they have to reform the institutions."

Odinga had looked on course to win the December 27 ballot until Kibaki, 76, was handed a narrow victory. Both sides alleged widespread rigging and international observers say the poll fell short of democratic standards.

Odinga, who turned 63 on Monday, is under international pressure to avoid provoking more violence, but he also wants to maintain momentum to oust Kibaki.

Kibaki's government accuses Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) of "grandstanding" and stoking further unrest.

Adding to the chaos, the main Kenyan lawyers' organisation, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), accused electoral officials of "dishonesty and ineptitude", called Kibaki's swearing-in "null and void", and urged a fresh vote.

"Kibaki lacks legitimacy to govern and this is the cause of the problems that we are facing as a country," it said.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said the statement was inaccurate, misleading and confusing to the public.

"LSK should not be partisan and should exercise responsibility by refraining from making claims based on events where they were not present, have no idea of what occurred and at what time," Mutua said.

Kenyans say mutual distrust between Odinga and Kibaki is a major obstacle to any solution.

Kibaki has said he is ready to form "a government of national unity". But Odinga wants him to step down and hold internationally mediated talks to agree on a "transitional arrangement" before a new vote in three to six months.

Around the country of 36 million people, the poor in city slums and rural areas have been worst hit. The political elite, other affluent Kenyans and expatriates have been largely unaffected in guarded compounds.

Kibaki met six bishops from the worst affected area -- Rift Valley -- on Monday to explore ways to end the unrest.

The election dispute unleashed protests, riots and anarchy that have scattered refugees across a nation more used to helping those fleeing from countries like Sudan and Somalia.

Eleven U.N. trucks were heading to western Kenya, the heart of the refugee crisis, under police escort on Monday, with enough food to feed 38,000 people for two weeks.

Much of the trouble has pitched opposition supporters against members of Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe, including the massacre of about 30 people sheltering in a church near Eldoret, a western town with decades-old land tensions. ( Reuters )

Belavia resumes regular flights from Baku to Minsk in early December
Belavia resumes regular flights from Baku to Minsk in early December
Iran hopes Kish-Istanbul-Abadan flights to improve its trade
Iran hopes Kish-Istanbul-Abadan flights to improve its trade
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender to buy welding equipment
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender to buy welding equipment
Loading Bars
Belavia resumes regular flights from Baku to Minsk in early December
Iran hopes Kish-Istanbul-Abadan flights to improve its trade
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender to buy welding equipment
Georgia to support businesses amid new coronavirus restrictions
WB extends deadline for implementation of agricultural project in Azerbaijan
Turkey steps up inspections as coronavirus pandemic figures climb
Cavushoglu and Stoltenberg discuss situation in Karabakh
Swedish royals test positive for COVID-19
England reveals new regional COVID tiers in fight against coronavirus
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Georgia continues to support its citizens amid COVID-19 pandemic
News on return of Azerbaijani soldier captured by Armenians false, relative says
Azerbaijan sends note of protest to France
Ample opportunities for investments to be created in Karabakh – minister
Azerbaijani's negotiations with UAE on renewables nearing completion
Kazakhstan, Mongolia eye signing roadmap for trade, economic co-op
Russia bans import of tomatoes from Uzbekistan’s Fergana region
36th COMCEC session opens under chairmanship of Turkish president (PHOTO)
Uzbek Ministry of Finance publishes draft law on increasing taxes on gasoline, diesel
Russian Gazprombank predicts Azerbaijan's economic recovery in 2021
iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini now at Azercell Exclusive shops!
Iran becomes self-sufficient in building oil, gas platforms
Cotton growing in Azerbaijan hits record - agriculture ministry
Italian municipalities adopt documents expressing solidarity with Azerbaijani people
Uzbekistan to grow industrial cannabis in Sardoba district
Azerbaijan detects 3,705 new COVID-19 cases, 1,609 recoveries
Turkmen Ministry of Construction opens tender for equestrian sports complex construction
Azerbaijani, Saudi FMs exchange views on current situation in Karabakh
Uzbekistan reveals data on its ICT sphere enterprises and organizations
Azerbaijan to export persimmons to Slovakia and Czech Republic
Level of religious tolerance in Azerbaijan is much higher than in France - ISESCO ex-director
Kazakhstan's exports to Switzerland decrease year-on-year
Azerbaijani medical insurance agency signs contract with tender-winning IT company
Resolution adopted by French Senate must be canceled – Azerbaijani NGO head
Volume of Turkish textile clothing supplies to Kazakh market surges
Latvian AirBaltic cancels Riga-Tbilisi-Riga flights
Reconnaissance work completed within Baiterek space complex creation in Kazakhstan
Thermal power plant modernization, other projects underway in Kazakhstan's Karaganda
Georgia imposes further restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus
Georgian carrier to launch regular cargo flights from China to Europe
Russia's Rostelecom expects to develop transit routes through Turkmenistan
Average monthly salary in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan rises
Azerbaijani, Afghan FMs discuss latest situation in region
WB, AIIB to fund rural infrastructure development in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijani, Indonesian FMs stress importance of trilateral ceasefire statement
Austria fully supports Uzbekistan obtaining of EU’s GSP beneficiary status
Turkmenistan's Dashoguz region opens tender for installation work
France not part of Karabakh settlement, but part of problem - Turkish defense minister
Japanese companies to provide technical support for terry production in Uzbekistan
Germany's hotspot district to launch COVID-19 mass tests for children
Yield of citrus fruits in Azerbaijan up
Capital of Kazakh companies operating in Turkey revealed
Iran boosts its pistachio exports
World Economic Forum announces Azerbaijan's road quality score
Share of assets in Azerbaijani banking sector declines
Kazakhstan eyeing amending legislation to support renewable energy dev't
Georgian Hualing Free Industrial Zone plans to finalize deal with 4 new companies
Mortgage lending in Azerbaijan through state line grows manifold
Kazakhstan to launch hundreds of industrial projects before year-end
Azerbaijani ICT company wins tender on purchase of licenses
Central Bank of Azerbaijan discloses data from foreign exchange auction
Employment in Iran's West Azerbaijan Province increases
Buta Airways to Increase the Frequency of Flights Performed to Izmir
Azerbaijan, Hungary discuss possibilities of attracting investors to liberated territories
Georgian Huliang FIZ offering available land plots to potential investors
Azerbaijani NBCO talks about its activities amid coronavirus
Azerbaijan’s carpet producer signs tender contract
Many members of French Senate unaware war in Karabakh ended (VIDEO)
Number of people infected with coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 900,000
Baku Stock Exchange admits local investment company
Uzbekistan eyes to set up local production of various vaccines
France does not deserve Azerbaijan’s confidence – senator
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still falling in Iran
Bank mortgages in Azerbaijan rise
Full text of Azerbaijani parliament’s statement against French Senate’s resolution
Iran's economy remains strong and steady – Iran's president
Turkmenistan to be vital strategic partner, gas supplier to China long-term - Wood Mackenzie
EDB talks Kazakhstan's economy growth forecast, return to pre-COVID levels
Ambassadors of Turkey, Iran to Azerbaijan hold discusses on Karabakh
“I am quite sure that giving a hand to customers in this challenging time will pay off in the future”: interview with Dariusz Kacprzyk, Member of Supervisory Board of AccessBank Azerbaijan
Import of Turkish ready-made clothes by Iran down
Water resources of Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar district to be re-explored
Turkey's export of ready-made clothes to Uzbekistan down
Money supply in Azerbaijan grows - CBA
Lending to banking sector in Azerbaijan up
Turkmenistan raises 10M2020 imports of Turkish ready-made clothes
Uzbek gas chemical company opens tender for insurance services
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan up
Azerbaijan’s natural gas exports to Turkey down by 8%
German manufactures interested in buying high-quality walnuts in Georgia
New carpet factory opens in Turkmenistan
German company builds float glass plant in Uzbekistan’s Zarafshan city
Iranian oil minister talks about petrochemical facilities launched in Iran
Azerbaijan can't be pressured by adopting some paper piece - parliament's vice speaker
Azerbaijani parliament voices appeal to government due to France
Azerbaijan to implement digitalization of services of local executive authorities
French Senate betrays democratic values - Turkish government
China's import of Turkish cement up
Azerbaijani parliament condemns resolution adopted by French Senate
AP highlights devastation caused by Armenia in Azerbaijan’s Aghdam
All news