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Kenyan anti-government protests lead to 1 dead, 31 officers injured, over 200 protestors arrested

Kenyan police said Tuesday that one person died, 31 officers were injured and more than 200 protesters were arrested in anti-government protests led by opposition leader Raila Odinga the previous day.

Odinga announced that the protests will be held twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays — starting next week.

The opposition led thousands of Kenyans in protests on Monday calling for President William Ruto’s resignation and decrying the rising cost of living. A university student was killed in western Kenya after police used live bullets because they had run out of rubber bullets, according to a police report.

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The police inspector general, Japhet Koome, said Tuesday that 238 people were arrested in protests in the western city of Kisumu, which is an Odinga stronghold, and the capital, Nairobi.

Monday’s protests turned violent as police used tear gas, water cannons and in some incidents fired live ammunition to disperse protesters, who responded by pelting them with stones.

Odinga said that his car was shot at by the police and his party spokesperson shared a photo of a shattered windshield online.

Protesters stumble as they flee from a police water cannon in the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya, on March 20, 2023.

Protesters stumble as they flee from a police water cannon in the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya, on March 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi)

A civil society group condemned the police for the use of force, intimidation and arbitrary arrests.

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The Independent Medico-Legal Unit said that four protesters died and 50 others were injured.

Kenya has in the past seen a series of violent protests that have ended in the loss of lives.

The government is insisting that Monday’s protests were illegal since permission was denied to hold them. But the opposition says the constitution provides a right to peaceful protests and police are only notified in order to provide security.

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Kenya’s deputy president, Rigathi Gachagua, said the country lost about $15 million because of Monday’s protests. Gachagua urged Odinga to call off the demonstrations and think about the losses to the economy.

Odinga has remained adamant and says protests will continue until the cost of living goes down.

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