NIn a message addressed to the Nation, William Ruto condemned what he considered to be “an attack” on democracy, the rule of law and institutions and pledged to firmly suppress “violence and anarchy”.

Ruto said he had ordered “all national security agencies to implement measures to thwart any attempt by dangerous criminals to undermine the security and stability of the country”.

Stating that it is his “top priority” to guarantee the safety of people and goods, the head of state assured that “the peaceful protests of Generation Z [promotores do protesto] were infiltrated by criminal elements.”

Ruto reaffirmed his intention to “talk” with the young people who were at the origin of the protests, stressing, however, that he will not tolerate any “threat” that implies “an existential danger” for Kenya.

The President addressed the nation after the Government ordered the Army to support police efforts to contain violence.

The soldiers were deployed to support the police “in response to the security emergency caused by ongoing violent demonstrations” across the country, marked by “destruction and intrusions into crucial infrastructure”, Defense Minister Aden Bare announced in a statement issued at the beginning of the night.

International agencies report several deaths, with the Spanish Efe citing a source from the Kenya Police Reform Working Group (PRWG-Kenya), which includes organizations such as Amnesty International (AI), citing at least 17 killed, 14 of them in Nairobi, where police opened fire to prevent protesters from entering parliament, which had one of its buildings set on fire.

NGOs also documented 86 injuries and 52 arrests, including at least 43 in the capital, added the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

Protesters, mostly young people who organized themselves through social media, burned down ruling party offices in Embu, in central Kenya, the Nation newspaper reported.

The police used tear gas, water cannons, plastic bullets and live ammunition to disperse the protesters, according to NGOs.

One of the movement’s organizers, journalist and activist Hanifa Adan, called on protesters to return home in the afternoon to stay safe.

The main opposition coalition, Azimio, accused the government of “unleashing its brute force against the children” of Kenya.

“Kenya cannot afford to kill its children just because they are asking for food, a job and a listening ear. The police must therefore immediately stop shooting at innocent, peaceful and unarmed children,” he stressed. to Azimio in a statement.

One of the media outlets, broadcaster KTN, issued a statement saying it had received “threats from authorities” to shut down as coverage of the protests continued.

Thirteen Western countries – Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Romania, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the United States – said, in a joint statement, that they were “shocked” by the scenes outside the parliament Kenyan and expressed concern about the violence and kidnappings of protesters.

Young people are protesting what is expected to be the introduction of new taxes, including a 16% VAT on bread and a 2.5% annual tax on private vehicles.

The Government announced, on June 18, that it was withdrawing most of the measures, but protesters continued their protest, demanding the withdrawal of the entire text.

For the protesters, this is a maneuver by the Government, which intends to compensate for the withdrawal of certain tax measures with others, namely a 50% increase in fuel tax.

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