Kenya Democracy Moves Bring Arrests, US Protests

Article excerpt

SOUTH African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela left troubled Kenya last weekend without commenting on the increasing calls for multiparty democracy in the east African nation.

Nairobi was the site of violent clashes last week between police and protesters calling for an end to President Daniel arap Moi's single-party system. Mr. Moi, who has ruled Kenya since 1978, outlawed all political parties except for his Kenya African National Union party, following a coup attempt in 1982.

Moi, the latest African leader to face the political unrest that has swept the continent this year, has spurned opponents' and Western calls for democratic reform in ordering a security crackdown. Political analysts say disaffection has been fueled by a combination of factors including Moi's autocratic rule, allegations of election rigging, and growing urban poverty.

But Moi has ruled out ending the one-party system.

According to hospital and local press reports, 28 people were killed in the violence and hundreds arrested. The riots started when hundreds gathered for a banned democracy meeting in Nairobi, and spread throughout the country. Rioting occurred mostly in areas dominated by the Kikuyu tribe, Kenya's largest. …