Kenya Protests : UN Expresses Concern over Police Violence and Calls for Accountability

Kenya Protests

Kenya Protests : The shockingly frequent use of violence by Kenyan police against protestors has drawn the profound concern of the United Nations. There have been terrible deaths and several injuries as a result of the skirmishes, which started amid protests against tax increases.

Widespread Protests and Police Response

Protests broke out across Kenya on Wednesday, with the capital city of Nairobi at the epicenter of the demonstrations. Opiyo Wandayi, the opposition leader in Kenya’s parliament, reported to CNN that the police forcefully dispersed the demonstrators.

Eyewitnesses and reports indicate that the police response has been highly aggressive. Images captured during the protests show protesters raising their hands in a peaceful manner while facing riot police. The situation escalated further as burning barricades appeared on the streets of the Mathare neighborhood in Nairobi.

Kenya Protests

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UN Demands Investigation and Accountability

The UN Human Rights Office spokesperson, Jeremy Laurence, expressed extreme worry over the rising level of violence. According to reports, up to 23 people may have been killed and hundreds injured during the rallies in the previous week, Laurence said in a press release on Friday.”

Laurence urged swift, unbiased, and open inquiries into the fatalities and injuries. The need to hold people in charge accountable for their actions cannot be overstated. He emphasized the necessity of taking decisive action to stop any future casualties or harm.

Kenya Protests

Upholding the Right to Peaceful Assembly

Highlighting the upcoming plans for additional protests, Laurence called upon the Kenyan authorities to ensure the protection of the constitutional right to peaceful assembly. He emphasized that the policing of protests should focus on facilitating peaceful gatherings, with the use of force guided by the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, and non-discrimination. Laurence categorically denounced the use of firearms to disperse protests, emphasizing that such measures should never be employed.

Encouraging Calm and Dialogue

In addition to urging a thorough investigation and respect for human rights, Laurence appealed for calm and encouraged open dialogue to address the underlying social, economic, and political grievances. He emphasized the importance of finding lasting solutions that benefit all Kenyans.

Unpopular Tax Hikes Trigger Protests

The unrest in Kenya stems from a series of tax hikes proposed by the national government, which have garnered significant public opposition. Raila Odinga, the opposition leader and former prime minister of Kenya, has been at the forefront of the call for protests against these increases. Odinga, who alleges manipulation of the election results from August of the previous year, has been leading civil disobedience demonstrations against his political rival.

Temporary Halt to Finance Act 2023 Of Kenya Protests

In response to the protests, a Kenyan court has temporarily suspended the implementation of the Finance Act 2023. This act, championed by President William Ruto, was intended to bolster public finances and increase domestic revenue. The court’s decision aims to provide a breathing space for dialogue and further examination of the implications of the proposed financial measures.

The world community is now intently watching Kenya as it deals with the fallout from the protests and looks for a way to allay its citizens’ complaints. The United Nations affirms its dedication to preserving human rights and exhorts all parties to engage in peaceful negotiation and find inclusive solutions for the good of the entire country.

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