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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

They announced new taxes. Parliament caught fire

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Police opened fire on protesters storming parliament in Nairobi, Kenya's capital. 10 people were killed and at least 50 were injured. There was a fire in the building – reports Reuters. Protests in the capital broke out after the adoption of the law on new taxes.

Protesters stormed the parliament complex. When tear gas and water cannons failed to disperse the crowd, police opened fire. According to Reuters, citing medical services, 10 deaths are known at the moment. The same source reported that at least 50 people were injured.

Part of the parliament building went up in flames. According to witnesses, clashes between protesters and the police are taking place both in front of and inside the parliament building.

As reported by the BBC around 2 p.m. Polish time, hundreds of MPs were unable to leave the parliament yet as police continued to clash with protesters who had entered the building.

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Protests and clashes also took place in several other cities and towns across the country.

Protests in Kenya

Kenyans are grappling with several economic shocks caused by the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, two consecutive years of drought and a depreciation in the value of the currency.

They are protesting a new finance bill that aims to raise an additional $2.7 billion in taxes to reduce the state's debt. The controversial bill contains provisions seen as imposing additional burdens on citizens and businesses. The parliament's decision caused a huge public protest, especially among young people. Many are also calling for President William Ruto to step down.

As the BBC reminds, the government withdrew from some controversial proposals, but it failed to calm public opposition. Many protesters are now demanding that the entire bill be thrown out.

– We want to close the parliament. Every MP should step down and resign, one of the protesters who tried to enter parliament told Reuters. – We will have a new government – he added.

Main photo source: DANIEL IRUNGU/EPA/PAP

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