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Kenya protests hijacked by criminals – President Ruto

President William Ruto of Kenya has vowed to strike back against “violence and anarchy”. This came after protests against his government’s proposed tax hikes turned…

President William Ruto of Kenya has vowed to strike back against “violence and anarchy”.

This came after protests against his government’s proposed tax hikes turned deadly and demonstrators ransacked parliament.

The demonstrations carried out mainly by youths had been largely peaceful as they grew over the past week but chaos erupted in Nairobi, the country’s capital. on Tuesday, with crowds throwing stones at police, pushing past barricades, and entering the grounds of parliament.

Lawmakers who were at the parliament building reportedly escaped through an underground tunnel.

Military was deployed to support police who, according to a rights group, fired tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, and live ammunition against protesters.

NGOs including Amnesty Kenya reported in a joint statement that five people were shot dead and 31 wounded.

Briefing newsmen in Nairobi, Ruto said: “We shall provide a full, effective, and expeditious response to today’s treasonous events. The demonstrations were hijacked by dangerous people”.

“It is not in order, or even conceivable 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.

“I hereby put on notice the planners, financiers, orchestrators, abetters of violence and anarchy.”

The United States appealed for calm and 13 Western nations said they were “especially shocked” by the scenes outside parliament.

UN chief Antonio Guterres, according to his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, was “deeply concerned” by the violence and “saddened” by the reported deaths and injuries.

While also expressing his “deep concern”, African Union Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat, called on the country to refrain from further violence.

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