See the chaotic scenes as Kenya elects new president
Kenya votes in a bitterly fought presidential election in December, 2015. (Nels Jorgensen)
Kenya has voted in a bitterly fought presidential election as ethnic tensions grow with election day just a few weeks away.
Election officials reported a tight race between Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main challenger, Raila Odinga.
But the polls came as some countries saw a record number of refugees seek sanctuary from violence in neighboring countries. At least 4,000 refugees from Syria arrived at the border crossing between Kenya and Somalia, officials said.
Here’s what you need to know about the elections:
What are the chances of violence?
As the country prepares to vote, both main candidates have vowed to do everything they can to prevent violence. Both Kenyans and people in the region are concerned, worried about refugees and the possibility that violence could affect them.
Some of the biggest concerns include:
–Kenya has faced a surge in refugees since attacks on churches in July that many claim have been carried out by Muslims. The government has tried in many areas to make life easier for those looking to migrate to better their lives by allowing them to register at the main border crossing point.
–Kenya has had its own troubles with internal violence in recent years between mostly Christian followers of the Alo movement and Muslims who have protested against the spread of Christianity. There have also been attacks by Muslim herdsmen on herders because they refused to pay taxes to their Muslim neighbors. The government has responded with patrols and the deployment of troops to the border region to help both sides.
–The country is currently also battling an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus that has killed more than 1,800 people across the country since March. Health officials and some politicians have said that they don’t expect the epidemic to peak in coming months, but they don’t rule out that it could.
–Odinga is also facing accusations of corruption, having used the position of vice president to gain a personal fortune — his net worth is said to be