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Kenyan protesters call for President to Resign

Protesters took to the streets of Kenya again on Thursday, with some calling for President William Ruto’s resignation despite his recent decision to scrap a…

Protesters took to the streets of Kenya again on Thursday, with some calling for President William Ruto’s resignation despite his recent decision to scrap a controversial tax bill. 
The demonstrations in Nairobi, though smaller than Tuesday’s massive turnout, were still marked by tension following violent clashes earlier in the week, where nearly two dozen people lost their lives.
On Tuesday, tens of thousands had flooded Nairobi’s city centre as lawmakers debated and passed the contentious legislation. The situation deteriorated into violence as demonstrators stormed buildings and set parts ablaze.
Rights groups reported at least 23 fatalities and over 300 injuries amid clashes with police using tear gas and bullets.
Thursday saw a heavy presence of police and military personnel throughout Nairobi, guarding key locations like Parliament and the president’s residence.
Much of the central business district remained shut down, with police dispersing smaller groups of protesters brandishing white roses.

While some activists and opposition leaders advised against marching toward the president’s residence to avoid further bloodshed, others remained steadfast, condemning recent violence and vowing to continue demanding Ruto’s resignation.

“We will stay on these streets until Ruto steps down,” declared John Kimani, 25, among the demonstrators in Nairobi. “No one can sway us.”

Until Wednesday’s announcement that he would not sign the finance bill, President Ruto had defended its measures as crucial for boosting revenue and preventing debt default.
The protests, spearheaded by youth groups, began in opposition to what critics argued would sharply increase living costs.

Despite modifications to the proposed taxes, many activists and opposition lawmakers remained unsatisfied, rejecting the bill outright.

Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura urged Kenyans to refrain from further street protests, warning against actions that could destabilize the country. Meanwhile, in Kisumu, police thwarted attempts by protesters to reach the president’s residence, resulting in disruptions to normal city activities.

Similar demonstrations occurred in Mombasa, where chants demanding Ruto’s resignation echoed through the streets. In Kenya’s west, protesters blocked highways and clashed with police.

The Law Society of Kenya reported around 50 young Kenyans abducted amid the unrest, with some released but others still missing as of Thursday, according to society president Faith Odhiambo.

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