Kenya massacre survivors ask court to stop talks
Survivors of a church massacre in Kenya went to court on Friday to try to stop former U.N. boss Kofi Annan leading mediation efforts and said some participants in the talks were guilty of human rights abuses.
About 700 people have died in ethnic clashes and riots since President Mwai Kibaki’s disputed re-election at Dec. 27 polls. In the worst single incident, 30 members of Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe were killed on Jan. 1 by a mob who set fire to the church where they had sought shelter near Eldoret in the Rift Valley.
Thirty-seven survivors, many of whom suffered severe burns in the attack, appealed to the High Court in Nairobi on Friday.
“We want Kofi Annan restrained from continuing with peace talks since some of the people he is involved with … have influenced the violence,” they said in their lawsuit. It was not immediately clear when the court might rule on their petition.
Annan on Thursday brought Kibaki and his rival, opposition leader Raila Odinga, together for their first private talks on how to end the crisis. But hopes for a solution were dampened as both sides launched a fresh round of verbal recriminations, and ethnic clashes centred on another Rift Valley town, Nakuru, killed at least a dozen people.