More violence as Kenya constitutional referendum approaches

[JURIST] Four people were killed [AP report] Saturday in continued violence [JURIST report] over proposed changes to the Kenyan constitution [PDF text] as police tried to break up an anti-constitution rally in Mombassa, where President Mwai Kibaki [official profile], a supporter of the constitution, was visiting. Kenyans will vote in a November 21 referendum [Reuters factbox] for the first major changes to the Kenyan charter since the country received independence from Britain in 1963. Wangari Maathai, [BBC profile, Nobel Prize profile] winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, recently dismissed the vote as a "farce" and "betrayal to the wishes of the people of Kenya." Maathai, who is also the deputy environment minister, contends that the debate has more to do with power than with creating consensus among the various factions within the country. At least five other people have been killed and dozens arrested in the rioting that has surrounded the constitutional debate. AFP has more.

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