Odinga plans new Kenya protests as Ruto appeals for more dialogue

By Laureen Fagan - 28 April 2023 at 8:18 pm
Odinga plans new Kenya protests as Ruto appeals for more dialogue

In Kenya, opposition leader Raila Odinga is calling for new protests beginning on Tuesday, despite the fact that he shut down protests against the government of President William Ruto last month as demonstrations became increasingly violent and Ruto agreed to talks.

“The streets are calling us once again,” said Odinga, head of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition party, as the opposition leader and former prime minister returned from the United Arab Emirates on Friday ahead of a mass rally in Nairobi.

Odinga and his supporters have rejected the outcome of the August 2022 election that put Ruto in office, calling his Kenya Kwanza government illegitimate. The protest movement that began in March followed Odinga’s deadline for the government to address inflation and other economic concerns, which led to the talks that Ruto asks the opposition to continue. Odinga has instead called for new protests.

Ruto on Friday promised to lower the cost of living for Kenyans, especially high food prices, while also warning Kenyans against a new round of protests.

“I am the President of Kenya,” he told local media outlets. “Enough is enough.”

A new report from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) recorded 83 instances of political violence in Kenya between March 25 and April 21, leading to at least 55 fatalities. “Nairobi County had the highest number of political violence events, mainly due to mob violence,” the report said.

The riots included looting damage at businesses, torched police cars, and fires intentionally set at both a mosque and church.

Image: Raila Odinga

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at @laureen@m.ai6yr.org

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