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Kenya crisis and protests, the situation to date

A week of political battles is brewing

17-04-2023 by Freddie del Curatolo

The political and social battle in Kenya between the government of "rampant" President William Ruto and the opposition led by "old man" Raila Odinga has not yet been resolved.
It is a battle that is being played out on multiple tables, set by the acolytes of the two alliances, Kenya Kwanza of the majority ("Kenya First") and Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity).
Summary of previous installments:
After violent street protests in the two weeks leading up to Easter, which resulted in damage to public and private property, the death of two university students and a police officer, Ruto extended a hand to rival Odinga, inviting him and his allies to a series of peace talks, with the intention of forming a bipartisan commission in parliament to resolve the issues raised by Azimio during the demonstrations.
Odinga, while reserving his acceptance and considering its terms, decided to suspend the protests "until the end of the month of Ramadan," scheduled for April 22.

During this time the skirmishes began, between preemptive demands and "shifts in focus" between the two sides. From the possibility of an initial round of talks last week came a deadlock that in the last two days has turned into a new souring of relations.
Two main reasons: from the opposition side, the government's request to weave the first dialogues through two extra-parliamentary groups, with lawyers and political scientists outside the leadership of the two parties.
Odinga and his people have not liked this preparatory phase: they would like to immediately debate parliament and create the famous bipartisan commission that should deal with changing the electoral law, and especially the composition of the IEBC, which was at the center of controversy over what Odinga still considers "stolen elections" in August last year, as well as discuss the caravan.

On the government side, annoyance, on the eve of possible meetings, from a letter sent by Azimio's lawyer, Paul Mwangi, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, calling for the indictment of Kenya's inspector general of police, Japhet Koome, for crimes against humanity. Perpetrated by his officers, according to them, during the violence of the demonstrations. Beaten to the punch was Vice President Rigathi Gachagua's response. "Actually, the people who should be brought to the International Criminal Court are those Azimio characters who destroyed the lives and properties of the Kenyan people, We are not like the previous government who accepted the handshake. We are stronger." The reference is to the famous "handshake" between former leader Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga himself to steer the country in one direction. According to Ruto, then Kenyatta's deputy and later a rival of both in the elections, it was the move that sent Kenya to the brink.

Yesterday, Raila Odinga rallied his people at Kamukunji Park in Nairobi, confirming a series of new street demonstrations as Ramadan ended. This week will therefore be decisive in whether there is still room for negotiation between majority and opposition or the country, in addition to the severe economic crisis and the consequences of drought on agriculture, livestock and the health of millions of starving citizens, will also have to endure the dangerous skirmishes of its politicians.

TAGS: protestemanifestazioniazimiobipartisanincontripaceodingaruto

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