Vigil held in Kenya for protesters killed by police

A vigil has been held in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, for more than 30 peo­ple whom rights groups say lost their lives in recent cost-of-living protests.

Opposition leader, Raila Odinga, attended the event, laying flowers and lighting a candle at a memorial site where pictures of some of those who died were displayed.

Mr Odinga suspended this week’s planned street anti-gov­ernment protests over tax hikes as a mark of respect to those killed.

Such vigils are planned coun­trywide over the next few days.

The opposition coalition blames police brutality for the deaths, but the interior ministry has defended the force’s response to nationwide demonstrations.

Earlier in the day, opposition leaders, including Mr Odinga, vis­ited various hospitals in Nairobi to check up on the people who were injured during the protests.

Opposition politician, Kalonzo Musyoka, said it was important that justice was sought for them.

An announcement about fur­ther protests would be made on Friday, he said.

Critics of Mr Odinga say the veteran politician is trying to cap­italise on the situation after losing the presidential election last year to William Ruto.

Diplomats and rights groups have urged the government and opposition to resolve their differ­ences peacefully.

President Ruto has now of­fered to meet Mr Odinga “one on one”, but the 78-year-old told the AFP news agency he would not do so unless a third-party me­diator was present.

“He is not somebody you can trust, he keeps changing words that is why I insist there must be a mediator between us,” he said.

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