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Police, Protesters Clash In Nairobi Over Inflation, Hunger (Photos)

Posted by Thandiubani on Fri 21st Jul, 2023 -

Nairobi’s Kibera slum, an opposition stronghold, running battles erupted Friday between police and protesters.

Protesters have clashed with Kenyan police over high inflation and hunger.
The protest entered its third consecutive day on Friday with stone-throwing demonstrators clashing with the police in a Nairobi slum.
AFP reported that police officers were seen firing tear gas and rubber bullets amid mounting calls for dialogue between the government and the opposition.
The report stated that veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga called for three days of demonstrations this week, but appetite for the protests had largely waned by Thursday in most of the country, with schools and shops reopening.
In Nairobi’s Kibera slum, an opposition stronghold, running battles erupted Friday between police and protesters carrying rocks and crude weapons, while some demonstrators also set fire to tyres and used them as barricades, AFP journalists saw.
No violence was reported elsewhere in contrast to earlier demonstrations, which have resulted in 20 deaths since March, according to figures shared by the government and hospitals.
Kenyans have been struggling with high inflation since last year and earlier in the day, a crowd gathered in Kibera for a peaceful protest, banging pots and pans and chanting anti-government slogans about the cost of living.
But the scene turned ugly later, with demonstrators shouting “today is the final day” as they battled the police, who have been accused by rights campaigners of deploying excessive force.
The violence has alarmed Kenyans and the international community alike, with the Commonwealth Secretariat on Thursday joining calls for the two sides to hold talks.

“The Commonwealth is deeply concerned at the ongoing escalation of violence, conflict and loss of life in Kenya and calls on all leaders and communities to engage in dialogue,” it said.

“We call on leaders of all sides of the political divide to de-escalate the situation.”
Odinga called off demonstrations in April and May after President William Ruto agreed to dialogue, but the talks broke down.
Ruto has urged a halt to the protests, warning this week that anyone seeking “to cause mayhem” would face a tough police response.
Odinga says Ruto’s government is illegitimate and responsible for a cost-of-living crisis.
The interior ministry said late Thursday that normalcy had returned to the country “save for a few cases of looting and breach of the peace by small bands of marauding lawbreakers”.

“The ill-advised and unlawful outrage of crime has been thwarted and will not be allowed to re-emerge,” it said.

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