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You Can’t Kill All Of Us,’ Kenya Protesters Vow To March Again

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Kenyan protest organisers called Wednesday for fresh peaceful marches against deeply unpopular tax hikes, as the death toll from nationwide demonstrations climbed to 22, a state-funded rights body said, vowing an investigation.

Tensions sharply escalated Tuesday, as police opened fire on demonstrators who stormed parliament after the mainly youth-led rallies began mostly peacefully last week with thousands marching across the country against the tax increases.

The unprecedented scenes left parts of parliament ablaze and gutted and hundreds of people wounded, shocking Kenyans and prompting President William Ruto’s government to deploy the military.

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On Tuesday afternoon, parliament passed the contentious bill containing the tax hikes, which must be signed by Ruto to become law.

But demonstrators vowed to hit the streets again Thursday as they called for the bill to be scrapped.

“Tomorrow we march peacefully again as we wear white, for all our fallen people,” protest organiser Hanifa Adan said on X.

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“You cannot kill all of us.”

Demonstrators shared “Tupatane Thursday” (“we meet Thursday” in Swahili), alongside the hashtag #Rejectfinancebill2024 on social media.

“The government does not care about us because they shot us with live bullets,” Steve, 40, who was at the parliament Tuesday, told AFP.

Ruto “victimised innocent people”, he said, adding he would march on Thursday: “I expect more violence and chaos.”

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Roseline Odede, chairwoman of the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, said “we have recorded 22 deaths”, adding that they would launch an investigation.

“This is the largest number of deaths (in) a single day protest,” she said, adding that 19 people had died in the capital Nairobi.

“We have over 300 injured in our records and over 50 arrests,” she added.

Earlier, Simon Kigondu, president of the Kenya Medical Association, said he had never before seen “such level of violence against unarmed people.”

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An official at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi said Wednesday that medics were treating “160 people… some of them with soft tissue injuries, some of them with bullet wounds”.

– ‘Violence and anarchy’ –

In posts online, protest organisers shared fundraising efforts to support those hurt in the demonstrations.

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Ruto warned late Tuesday that his government would take a tough line against “violence and anarchy”, likening some of the demonstrators to “criminals”.

“It is not in order or even conceivable that criminals pretending to be peaceful protesters can reign terror against the people, their elected representatives and the institutions established under our constitution and expect to go scot-free,” he said.

Shortly before his address, Defence Minister Aden Bare Duale announced that the army had been brought in to tackle “the security emergency” in the country.

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A heavy police presence was deployed around parliament early on Wednesday, according to an AFP reporter, the smell of tear gas still in the air.

A policeman standing in front of the broken barricades to the complex told AFP he had watched the scenes unfold on TV.

“It was madness, we hope it will be calm today,” he said.

– ‘Didn’t leave anything’ –

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In the central business district, where the protests have been concentrated, traders surveyed the damage.

“They didn’t leave anything, just the boxes. I don’t know how long it will take me to recover,” James Ng’ang’a, whose electronics shop was looted, told AFP.

READ ALSO: Kenyan Policeman Shoots Judge In Court For Revoking Wife’s Bail

Ruto’s administration has been taken by surprise by the intensity of opposition to its tax hikes.

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And while the rallies — mostly led by young, Gen-Z Kenyans — have been largely peaceful, tensions rose sharply Tuesday afternoon when officers fired at crowds near parliament.

Demonstrators then breached parliament barricades, ransacking the partly ablaze complex, with local TV showing burnt furniture and smashed windows.

AFP journalists saw three people bleeding heavily and lying motionless on the ground.

– Cost of living –

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The unrest has alarmed the international community, with more than 10 Western nations including the United States saying they were “especially shocked by the scenes witnessed outside the Kenyan Parliament”.

READ ALSO: Ruto Ready For ‘Conversation’ With Youth Protesters, Says Kenya’s Presidency

Rights watchdogs have also accused the authorities of abducting protesters.

The police have not responded to AFP requests for comment.

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Long-running grievances over the rising cost of living spiralled last week as lawmakers began debating the bill containing the tax hikes.

The cash-strapped government says the increases are needed to service the country’s massive debt of some 10 trillion shillings ($78 billion), equal to roughly 70 per cent of Kenya’s GDP.

The treasury has warned of a gaping budget shortfall of 200 billion shillings, following Ruto’s decision last week to roll back some of the most controversial tax hikes.

While Kenya is among East Africa’s most dynamic economies, a third of its 52 million population live in poverty.

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AFP

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UAE Resumes Visa Issuance To Nigerians

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The Federal Government and the government of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have signed an agreement for the resumption of visa issuance to travellers with Nigerian passports wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, said the agreement took immediate effect.

He said, “You are aware that Nigeria has been discussing with the United Arab Emirates on the issue of visas for Nigerian passport holders going to the United Arab Emirates.

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“Today, an agreement has been reached on that, and effective from today 15th July, Nigerian passport holders are able to obtain visa to go to the United Arab Emirates.

“Details of that will be provided to you latter today when we put out a statement.

“But I can tell you that the agreement has been reached, and effective from today, Nigerian passport holders intending to travel to the UAE are able to do so.”

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Elon Musk,World Leaders, Celebrities, Others React To failed Ass@sination Attempt On Trump

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World leaders, celebrities and the global online community have expressed disgust at the attempted assassination of former US president Donald Trump while he was holding a rally on Saturday, July 13.

Butler County district attorney Richard Goldinger said in a phone interview that the suspected gunman was dead and at least one attendee was killed after gunshots rang through the crowd as former President Donald Trump spoke at a rally Saturday in Butler, Pennsylvania.

House Speaker Mike Johnson was the first Republican to put out a statement in the moments after the party’s presumptive presidential nominee was rushed off the stage with blood streaming from his ear.

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“Praying for President Trump,” Johnson simply wrote on X.

Former US President George W. Bush says he is “grateful” that former President Donald Trump is safe.

Laura and I are grateful that President Trump is safe following the cowardly attack on his life. And we commend the men and women of the Secret Service for their speedy response,” Bush said in his statement.

US president and Trump’s opponent in the coming election, Joe Biden, wished Trump quick recovery.

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“I have been briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania,” Biden wrote. “I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well.”

Biden added: “I’m praying for him and his family and for all those who were at the rally, as we await further information. Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety. There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it.”

Former President Barack Obama said in a statement that “There is absolutely no place for political violence in our democracy.”

He added that while details were still scarce, “we should all be relieved that former President Trump wasn’t seriously hurt, and use this moment to recommit ourselves to civility and respect in our politics.”

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“As one whose family has been the victim of political violence, I know firsthand that political violence of any kind has no place in our society,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“I thank God that former President Trump is safe. As we learn more details about this horrifying incident, let us pray that all those in attendance at the former President’s rally today are unharmed.” she added

House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said on the social platform X that his thoughts and prayers are with former President Trump. “I am thankful for the decisive law enforcement response,” he said. “America is a democracy. Political violence of any kind is never acceptable.”

North Dakota Sen. Doug Burgum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. JD Vance, the three men on Trump’s shortlist for vice president, all quickly sent out statements expressing concern for the former president.

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Rubio shared an image taken as Trump was escorted off stage with his fist in the air and a streak of blood on his face along with the words, “God protected President Trump.”

“I am horrified by what happened at the Trump rally in Pennsylvania and relieved that former President Trump is safe. Political violence has no place in our country,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer in a statement.

Billionaire Tesla CEO, Elon Musk tweeted that his vote will be going to Trump in the coming election .

 

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Mut!lated Bodies Of Women Discovered At Abandoned Quarry In Kenya

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Six severely mut!lated bodies of women wrapped in polythene bags have been found at an abandoned quarry used as a dumpsite in Kware near Mukuru kwa Njenga in Nairobi, Kenya.

The grim discovery made on Friday morning, July 12, 2024 has sent shockwaves through Mukuru kwa Njenga slums and beyond.

According to an eyewitness who spoke to Citizen Digital, the bodies had visible injuries and had been tied with ropes.

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The eyewitness called on the government to investigate the killings to determine what happened to the women who are yet to be positively identified

“A woman came and told me that she dreamt of the whereabouts of her missing sister and wanted us to go and retrieve her body. We doubted her at first and as we approached the scene, spotted a wrapped polythene bag,” said the eyewitness.

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Upon examining the area, we found several bodies wrapped in the polythene bags with some being cut into pieces and tied with ropes. If they lived nearby, we would have heard of the reports which means that these bodies were transferred to this location. We want the government to investigate this matter.”

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Police officers arrived and cordoned off the area.

The bodies were transferred to City Mortuary as the search gets underway to positively identify them.

Law Society of Kenya President Faith Odhiambo called for police to investigate the matter to establish what transpired.

We need investigations to be done! Unacceptable,” she said.

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations in a statement, confirmed that six bodies have been retrieved from the abandoned quarry.

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The DCI said that all six bodies were females and had been killed in the same mode.

The Director of Criminal Investigations Mohamed Amin, said the bodies were severely mutilated and were in various stages of decomposition

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“Earlier today at approximately 1100hrs, the Embakasi Division Police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) responded to an urgent call from the public in the Villa area of Mukuru kwa Njenga,” Amin said.

“The alarm was raised following the discovery of six severely mutilated bodies, all female, in various stages of decomposition.”

READ ALSO: Trump Releases Statement After His Assassination Attempt

He said the bodies were wrapped in nylon papers and reinforced with nylon ropes.

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The discovery was made at an abandoned quarry, currently filled with water and used as a dump site,”

Amin added that the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) personnel from Embakasi quickly arrived at the scene, retrieving the bodies and documenting the area.

The bodies have been transported to the Nairobi Funeral Home (City Mortuary) to await postmortem.

“Homicide detectives and officers from the Forensics Division of the DCI are currently analysing samples to identify the bodies,” he added.

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The area has been cordoned off and designated as a crime scene as the investigation continues.

Amin called on Kenyans to cooperate with the authorities as investigations continue as probe continues.

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