William Ruto slams ‘criminal’ demonstrators as protests turn deadly, five killed

Kenya’s President William Ruto Tuesday (Jun 25) promised to take a tough line against “violence and anarchy” after protests against his government’s proposed tax hikes turned deadly and demonstrators ransacked parliament, reportedly setting parts of it on fire.

The violence left at least five people dead.

“We shall provide a full, effective and expeditious response to today’s treasonous events,”

– Ruto told a press briefing in Nairobi.

After rounds of rubber bullets and water cannons, police opened fire on demonstrators who were trying to storm Kenya’s parliament killing at least five, as per news agencies. Local reports mentioned that at least 10 died, but there’s no official confirmation.

The mainly Gen-Z-led rallies, which began last week, have caught the government off guard, with President William Ruto saying over the weekend he was ready to talk to the protesters.

But tensions sharply escalated on Tuesday afternoon, as crowds began to throw stones at police and push back against barricades, making their way towards the parliament complex, which was sealed off by police in full riot gear.

Shortly before, Irungu Houghton, the executive director of Amnesty International Kenya, told AFP that “human rights observers are now reporting the increasing use of live bullets by the National Police Service in the capital of Nairobi”.

“Safe passage for medical officers to treat the many wounded is now urgent,” – he said.

Anger over a cost-of-living crisis spiralled into nationwide rallies last week, with demonstrators calling for the finance bill to be scrapped. The people are angry over the rising prices of bread and nappies.

Despite a heavy police presence, thousands of protesters had earlier marched through Nairobi’s business district, pushing back against barricades as they headed towards parliament.

Police in full riot gear were firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd, according to AFP journalists.

As protesters gained ground in their push towards parliament, many were livestreaming the action earlier in the day as they sang, chanted and beat drums.

Crowds also marched in the port city of Mombasa, the opposition bastion of Kisumu, and Ruto’s stronghold of Eldoret, images on Kenyan TV channels showed.

Source: wionews.com, NDTV.com

About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.