Tensions high as Kenya prepares for presidential re-election

Foreign diplomats warn of growing insecurity ahead of 26 October poll.

There are concerns over "growing insecurity" in Kenya ahead of the presidential election re-run on 26 October, according to a group of 20 foreign ambassadors, including those of Britain, France, Germany and the US. Italy's foreign office has also been issuing travel warnings for several months.

Crucially the re-election is being boycotted by the main opposition leader Raila Odinga who argues that the electoral reforms he had requested have not been implemented.

The presidential re-run followed the supreme court's decision to annul the original 8 August result, due to widespread electoral irregularities, in which incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes.

Odinga, of the National Super Alliance (NASA), has raised the stakes further by stating that he will not recognise a win by Kenyatta, saying: "As far as we are concerned, this is not an election." However he is now urging his supporters to boycott the polls, contradicting his earlier calls for protests.

Kenyatta has promised heavy security at polling booths throughout the country, warning that anyone who plans to boycott the election should do so without impeding voters participating in the poll.

Kenyatta's multi-party Jubilee Alliance has also used its majority to push through legislation making it more difficult for the supreme court to annul future elections.

Kenya has a history of political violence, particularly following the 2007 polls when an estimated 1,100 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced across the country.