UPDATE - Kenya deploys military to deal with 'security emergency' amid anti-tax protests

UPDATE - Kenya deploys military to deal with 'security emergency' amid anti-tax protests

President Ruto says peaceful protests ‘were infiltrated and hijacked by organized criminal elements’ as violence leaves 10 dead


By Andrews Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - Kenya’s Defense Minister Aden Duale deployed the military late Tuesday to deal with a “security emergency” after violent demonstrations against tax hikes killed 10 people in the capital, Nairobi.

Dozens were injured when police opened fire on hundreds of protesters who stormed the parliament compound in Nairobi to protest a recent increase in taxes.

“This is in response to the security emergency caused by ongoing violent protests in various parts of the country,” said Duale.

Thousands of young people stormed parliament, sending lawmakers scampering in fear. Police cars were torched and shops and businesses were looted and vandalized.

Helicopters were also seen flying low around the capital.

In various cities, including Nairobi, Eldoret and Kisumu, storeowners reported significant losses as looters smashed windows, stole merchandise and vandalized property amid the chaos.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga urged the government to stop killing Kenyan "children" and withdraw Finance Bill 2024.

- President Ruto sees ‘organized criminals’ behind violence

In a late-night address to the nation, Kenyan President William Ruto said peaceful protests by Gen Z “were infiltrated and hijacked by organized criminal elements.”

”I have deployed security to check elements trying to undermine our country.

“It is not in order that criminals pretending to be peaceful protesters can bring terror against the people, their elected representatives and the institutions established under our Constitution and expect to go scot-free,” he said in a televised address.

Ruto said he directed “all organs of our national security to thwart any attempt by criminals to undermine the security and stability of Kenya.”

”We shall provide a full, effective and expeditious response to today's treasonous events,” he said.

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