By Andrew Ross
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - Kenya’s government on Tuesday banned protests by the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), following rioting that saw two killed a day earlier.
The announcement followed a decision by the High Court in Kenya to grant permission for countrywide demonstrations.
Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said the protests aimed to topple Kenya’s electoral body, which the opposition accuses of planning to rig next year’s general election in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He said Monday’s protests had seen “demonstrators armed with stones, machetes and other crude weapons, [the] barricading of roads using burning tires and [the] destruction of private and public property worth millions of shillings”.
Addressing journalists outside his office at Harambee House in Nairobi, Nkaissery said that the ban was vital to prevent bloodshed.
“In the latest riot, two people were killed, 18 civilians and 32 police officers were injured, several supermarkets suffered malicious damage, vehicles were burned and many shops were looted,” he said.
“To avert further violence and loss of property in the country, the government prohibits all unlawful demonstrations in the country. We call on all citizens of goodwill to abide by this directive.”
On Monday, the CORD vowed to protest on Mondays and Thursdays.