Protestors died, the president of Kenya becomes enraged at “violence and anarchy.”

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When protestors died, the president of Kenya becomes enraged at “violence and anarchy.”

Nairobi was plunged into chaos when demonstrations over proposed tax increases became violent, leaving five people dead.

President Ruto of Kenya denounced the disturbances in the nation’s capital, Nairobi, and vowed to act quickly and decisively in response to “violence and anarchy” following the tragic anti-tax protests.
On Tuesday, unrest erupted in Nairobi as demonstrations over planned tax increases turned violent, leaving five people dead and 31 injured. Kenyan President William Ruto responded sharply to protestors who stormed the parliament grounds.
 Protestors died, the president of Kenya becomes enraged at "violence and anarchy."
Protesters react to teargas canisters launched at them by riot police during a nationwide strike to protest against tax hikes and the Finance Bill 2024 in downtown Nairobi, on June 25, 2024. — AFP

At a press conference on Wednesday, he declared, “We shall provide a full, effective, and expeditious response to today’s treasonous events.”

Ruto continued, “It is inconceivable that criminals pretending to be peaceful protesters can reign terror against the people, their elected representatives, and the institutions established under our constitution and expect to go scot-free.”

Widespread resentment about the government’s projected tax increases during a crisis caused by the expense of living propelled the protests. In an attempt to get into the parliament grounds, protesters rushed past barricades, fought with police, and flung stones. A 26-year-old lawyer who was taking part in the protests, Elizabeth Nyaberi, expressed the discontent of a lot of people by declaring, “This is the voice of the young people of Kenya.” We don’t care that they are using tear gas on us.”

Reactions from around the world have been quick. Thirteen Western countries, including Canada, Germany, and Britain, expressed their dismay at the violence, while the United States called for calm. Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the UN, expressed his sincere worry and sorrow for the bloodshed and casualties. In a similar vein, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the head of the African Union Commission, advocated for moderation to stop more violence.

The Kenya chapter of Amnesty International called attention to the worsening circumstances and urged the government to uphold the right to peaceful assembly. There have also been claims that police dressed as civilians have kidnapped demonstrators. The unconditional release of every kidnap victim was urged by the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

Plans to raise other taxes, such as those on fuel and exports, are still in place in order to cover budget deficits, even if the administration just conceded to reverse certain tax increases. Opponents contend that these actions will increase living expenses in a country already dealing with high inflation and pervasive poverty.

Kenya, which has one of the most dynamic economies in East Africa, has many obstacles, such as a third of its population living in poverty and growing debt servicing expenses as a result of currency depreciation.

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