Kenya lifts ban on live broadcasts

The Kenyan government on Monday lifted a ban on live broadcasts imposed over a month ago as violence erupted over the outcome of a hotly contested presidential election, the Information Ministry said.

The government said the ban was in the “interest of public safety and tranquillity” when it was announced on December 30 following the re-election of President Mwai Kibaki, which the opposition says was fraudulent.

Footage of the violence was seen by the government as potentially inciting revenge attacks.

“The minister for national security ... has revoked the directive and consequently the suspension is lifted with immediate effect,” Bitange Ndemo, the Information Ministry permanent secretary said in a statement.

Kenya has been mired in violence following the disputed December 27 elections, which has claimed about 1 000 lives and displaced between 250 000 and 300 000 others.

Despite mediation talks headed by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan, the violence has shown no signs of ending, with more than 70 people killed over the weekend in western Kenya.

Media watchdogs have called on the government to lift the ban, while a local editors’ guild has sued the government.—AFP


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