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Kenya’s protests are different this time: 3 things that make it harder for government to crush them

Kenya’s protests are different this time: 3 things that make it harder for government to crush them

ON 25 June 2024, a youth-led protest primarily composed of Gen Zs, as they are popularly referred to, stormed Kenya’s parliament. Legislators voted to pass the Finance Bill 2024 in its third and last reading ahead of presidential assent. This was the second countrywide protest over the proposed taxes in the draft law and excesses in government spending. The finance bill is a framework that determines how the government raises revenue. The Kenyan government had proposed raising US$2.7 billion by increasing taxes on essential goods and services, from cooking oil to bread. The bill also targeted digital revenue, where the…
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Kenyan activists call for more protests as govt pledges austerity

Kenyan activists call for more protests as govt pledges austerity

KENYAN activists called for protesters to take to the streets again, with many rejecting appeals from President William Ruto for dialogue following his decision to withdraw proposed tax hikes. At least 24 people were killed in clashes between protesters and police last week when parliament was briefly stormed and set ablaze. The protests, which have been led by young people and organised largely on social media, were initially sparked by a finance bill intended to raise 346 billion Kenyan shillings ($2.69 billion) in taxes. But the demands of many protesters have escalated over the past two weeks to include calls to root out corruption and for…
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Kenyan police and protests: researchers on a violent, corrupt security force that’s beyond reform

Kenyan police and protests: researchers on a violent, corrupt security force that’s beyond reform

KENYA’S police are being criticised for their violent response to protests over the past week against government proposals to raise US$2.7 billion in additional taxes. Hundreds of thousands of people, across 35 of Kenya’s 37 counties, poured out onto the streets in opposition to the tax hikes. The police have reacted with force, using live bullets and tear gas. At least five people are known to have been killed and hundreds have been injured. The reaction by the police force didn’t come as a surprise. Kenya has a long history of policing with excessive force, often resulting in unnecessary deaths.…
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Police fire on demonstrators trying to storm Kenya parliament, several dead

Police fire on demonstrators trying to storm Kenya parliament, several dead

KENYAN President William Ruto said security was his "utmost priority" after protests against a bill to raise taxes descended into violence, with police firing on demonstrators trying to storm the legislature, killing at least five. In chaotic scenes in the capital Nairobi, protesters overwhelmed police and chased them away in an attempt to enter the parliament compound, with Citizen TV later showing damage from inside the building, which had been partially set ablaze. Protests and clashes also took place in several other cities and towns across Kenya, with many calling for Ruto to quit as well as voicing their opposition…
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Kenya’s finance bill: Why has it triggered protests?

Kenya’s finance bill: Why has it triggered protests?

YOUTH-LED protests against the Kenyan government's plans to raise revenue through additional taxes are expected to intensify when lawmakers vote on proposed amendments to the bill. At least one person has been killed and more than 200 injured since protests against the finance bill swept the country earlier this month. Here are some details about the tax proposals: WHY THE FINANCE BILL? A finance bill is usually presented to parliament before the start of a financial year that runs from July to June, laying out the government's fiscal plans. In the 2024/25 bill, the Kenyan government aims to raise $2.7 billion in…
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Malawi mourns VP amid protests over plane crash response

Malawi mourns VP amid protests over plane crash response

MALAWIANS gathered to mourn Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima amid heavy security, a day after people from his home district launched protests over the government's response to the plane crash that killed him and eight others last week. Chilima, 51, was laid to rest in his village of Nsipe in the district of Ntcheu, about 160 km (100 miles) southeast of the capital Lilongwe. The evening before, crowds - who said officials did not move quickly enough to mount a search and rescue mission when the military plane disappeared - blockaded the road and threw stones at vehicles in the funeral cortege…
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Canadian Sikhs stage protests against Indian government over murder

Canadian Sikhs stage protests against Indian government over murder

CANADIAN Sikhs staged small protests outside India's diplomatic missions, a week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there may be a link between New Delhi and the murder of a Sikh separatist advocate in British Columbia. Trudeau a week ago stood in parliament to say that domestic intelligence agencies were actively pursuing credible allegations tying New Delhi's agents to the shooting of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, in June. About 100 protesters in Toronto burned an Indian flag and struck a cardboard cut-out of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a shoe. About 200 protesters also gathered outside the Vancouver consulate.…
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Protests hit Tunisian town after man killed in police raid

Protests hit Tunisian town after man killed in police raid

ANGRY youths barricaded roads and clashed with police in the Tunisian town of Sbeitla hours after the death of a young man during a police raid, witnesses said. Police had sought to arrest a local businessman suspected of running an illegal gambling operation but ran into resistance from his associates, triggering clashes in which the man was fatally shot with a rifle, a town official said. An investigation was under way to determine the circumstances of his death, he added. Police and interior ministry spokespeople did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. The youthful protesters burned tyres, closed…
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Senegal: behind the protests is a fight for democratic freedoms

Senegal: behind the protests is a fight for democratic freedoms

IN a late evening announcement on 3 July, President Macky Sall put an end to speculations that he would seek a third term in office by contesting in 2024. Prior to that announcement, Sall’s unwillingness to confirm he would not run for a third term, and the targeting of political opponents, created a political powder keg in Senegal. Authors RACHEL BEATTY RIEDL, Professor of International Studies, Cornell University BAMBA NDIAYE, Assistant Professor, Emory University Protests broke out in many cities across the country on 1 June 2023, following the conviction of leading opposition figure Ousmane Sonko for “corruption of the…
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Fresh protests rock Senegal as death toll climbs

Fresh protests rock Senegal as death toll climbs

FRESH clashes broke out between opposition supporters and Senegalese police in parts of the capital Dakar, the third day of protests in the West African nation sparked by the prosecution of an opposition leader. Protesters took to the streets in the evening, setting up barricades and burning rubbish in the HLM district. Police there and in the Ngor residential neighbourhood fired tear gas in an effort to disperse angry crowds. Gas stations and a supermarket were looted overnight and several districts were strewn with rubble and burned tyres. "The police couldn't do anything... The police had to leave after several…
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