Tens of people are thought to have died on 19 and 20 January in fresh political and ethnic violence sparked by the disputed presidential elections of 27 December.

In the worst known incident international media sources report that 22 people mostly belonging to the Kikuyu community were shot with arrows or hacked to death by machete in Kipkelion in the Rift Valley in repeated attacks on a camp for people displaced by earlier violence. Missionary Service News Agency sources in the area say the attacks were carried out by gangs of Kalenjin, an ethnic group loyal to the opposition.

In addition at least six people are thought to have been killed in clashes in poor areas of Nairobi, where several homes have also been razed.

Fatalities have also been reported in other parts of the country including Elburgon and Nakuru, also in the Rift Valley, and Coast.

The latest unrest comes in the wake of three days of organised protests called by the main opposition party Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) against the reconfirmation of president Mwai Kibaki in a poll critics say was flawed.

On 18 January, the final day of protests, the party announced boycotts of companies and products linked to Kibaki and his allies as part of ongoing protests and it has also threatened fresh mass rallies from 23 January.

Meanwhile the government has said that it will be closing camps for people displaced by the violence in Nairobi and Mombasa on the grounds that they are now safe to return home. Local and international aid organisations have opposed the plans, saying that some areas are still insecure and calling for an extension of 15 days.