"Refrain from violence" UN chief urges Kenyans in wake of election result

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Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Mark Garten (file)

The Secretary-General on Saturday praised the "peaceful participation" of Kenyans in re-electing President Uhuru Kenyatta, but urged those disputing the result to "refrain from violence".

The country's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared President Kenyatta the winner on Friday, with just over 54 per cent of the vote.

Matt Wells reports.

In his statement, UN chief Antonio Guterres called on supporters of the main opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, and others who are calling into question the legitimacy of the election, to address their grievances through the appropriate constitutional channels.

He called on opposition leaders "to send clear messages to their supporters" that violent protest was not the answer.

News reports said on Saturday that several dozen had been shot dead during protests following the official announcement of the result.

Mr Guterres also stressed the importance of dialogue by all sides, to defuse tensions.

He added that the UN would work closely with the African Union and other international partners to see the democratic election process through to a peaceful conclusion.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 42"

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