Thousands gather for Kenya inauguration amid protests

By , on November 28, 2017


The ceremony began amid heavy security in parts of the capital, Nairobi, following a call by the opposition for peaceful demonstrations in memory of dozens killed by police and militia while protesting Kenyatta's re-election. (Pixabay photo)
The ceremony began amid heavy security in parts of the capital, Nairobi, following a call by the opposition for peaceful demonstrations in memory of dozens killed by police and militia while protesting Kenyatta’s re-election. (Pixabay photo)

NAIROBI, Kenya— Thousands gathered Tuesday in Kenya’s largest stadium for the swearing in of President Uhuru Kenyatta after a months-long election controversy.

The ceremony began amid heavy security in parts of the capital, Nairobi, following a call by the opposition for peaceful demonstrations in memory of dozens killed by police and militia while protesting Kenyatta’s re-election.

Police used tear gas to push back Kenyatta supporters to prevent them from entering the 60,000-capacity Kasarani Stadium, even though four stands behind the VIP area were kept empty. Organizers had said they expect 100,000 people to attend the event. Some supporters were left unconscious after police on horseback used batons to beat back an attempt to break through a barrier.

Several African leaders and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are expected to attend the event.

Elsewhere in Nairobi, police patrolled the Jacaranda grounds where the leading opposition group, the National Super Alliance, had urged supporters to gather to remember those killed in post-election protests since August. Nearby Jacaranda grounds police fired rifles and tear gas at groups of people suspected to be walking toward the grounds, said witness Cyrus Okemwa

The August election was nullified by the Supreme Court over irregularities, and the opposition boycotted the repeat vote last month, citing a lack of reforms