Kenyan Police Block Protest With Tear Gas

Tutu meets with Odinga; rally called off to avert bloodshed
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2008 6:17 AM CST
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) supporters jump from a pick up truck clouded in tear gas during clashes with riot police in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Kenyan riot police unleashed tear gas and water cannons on protesters attempting to gather in a Nairobi park for a rally for Raila Odinga, the Kenyan presidential candidate who disputes his narrow defeat in last week's election. The Times of London reports that Odinga called off his "people's rally" and told supporters to disperse after paramilitary police sealed off the park and blocked protesters from the city's main slum.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu met with Odinga today in an attempt to foster a breakthrough in the election debacle that has left 300 dead and more than 100,000 displaced. The office of President Mwai Kibaki, however, has said he has no plans to meet the archbishop. Odinga told reporters that Kibaki was the perpetrator of a "civilian coup" but that he would accept an interim government preceding a re-run of December's vote.