See Kenya’s Protests in Nairobi

See Kenya’s Protests in Nairobi

A day after demonstrators clashed with the police and stormed the national Parliament building in Kenya to protest passage of a finance bill that would increase taxes, President William Ruto announced on Wednesday that he was changing course and would not sign the legislation.

The protests had spread across the country and paralyzed Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Images of demonstrators swarming the Parliament and setting buildings on fire shocked the nation. More than 300 protesters were injured and at least 23 were killed, according to human rights groups.

“Listening keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with this finance bill, I concede,” Mr. Ruto said on Wednesday.

Kenya is deep in debt and the government said that it needed to raise taxes to avoid a default. But many Kenyans said they could not afford the proposed increases on imported staples like eggs, onions and cooking oil.

By Wednesday, the strong smell of tear gas still wafted through the air in downtown Nairobi, and the streets leading to Parliament remained cordoned off by the police.

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