• World - Africa
  • Updated: March 28, 2023

Kenya: African Union Appeals For Calm After Violent Protests

Kenya: African Union Appeals For Calm After Violent Protests

African Union Appeals For Calm After Violent Protests In Kenya.

The African Union on Tuesday led appeals for calm and political dialogue after anti-government protests in Kenya turned violent, with police firing tear gas and looters going on a rampage.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for regular rallies every Monday and Thursday, accusing President William Ruto of stealing last year's election and of failing to manage the increasing cost of living.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the head of the African Union Commission, expressed "deep concern" over the violence and urged calm.

"In the supreme interest of national unity and reconciliation, the chairperson urges all stakeholders to exercise calm and engage in dialogue to address any differences that may exist," Faki's office said in a statement. 

Faki's office said that he "expresses deep concern about violence... which has resulted in the loss of life, property damage, and the disruption of certain economic activities."

On Monday, police fired tear gas in Nairobi and the western city of Kisumu, an Odinga stronghold, to dispel crowds, aiming canisters at cars carrying journalists in the capital.

Officers also used tear gas and water cannon as Odinga's convoy moved through a congested neighbourhood in Nairobi, sending people running for cover.

One man was shot dead in Kisumu, the head of the city's main hospital told AFP, the second fatality reported since the demonstrations kicked off the previous Monday when a university student was killed by police fire.

The protesters had defied a warning by the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome that the demonstrations were "illegal".

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