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Call For Restraint Amid Kenya Demonstrations

AS tension continues in Kenya amid anti-government demonstrations, the Pan African Alliance for Transparency and Rule of Law in Africa (PATROL-AFRICA) has called on all sides to ‘exercise restraint, and to avoid the use of violence’.

It said in a statement on Friday: ‘We support the right of Kenyans to organise peaceful demonstrations, according to the Kenyan Constitution.

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‘But at the same time, we call on protesters to exercise their right to picket under the constitution peacefully and the security forces to exercise restraint, and to avoid the use of violence.’

PATROL-AFRICA said the deadly demonstrations ‘have highlighted the immediate need for dialogue between the government and civil society in order to reduce the tension in the country’.

The statement added: ‘Continued instability will erode peace and stability in Kenya – in a region that is already dealing with myriad political challenges.’

PATROL-AFRICA said it welcomed President Ruto’s decision to withdraw the 2024 Finance Bill that triggered the demonstrations

‘In a continent where the will of ordinary people is sometimes discounted by leaders, President Ruto’s decision, we hope, will lead to an inclusive and multi stakeholder engagement debate on the challenges facing the country’s economy, especially on how best to raise revenues without undermining the ability of the populace to meet their basic needs,’ the statement said.

‘In the meantime, we urge the Kenyan government to allow civil society groups such as the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the law society, religious groups and representatives of the youth to play a central role in the steps being taken to allay the fears of young Kenyans who are feeling the brunt of the economic squeeze,’ the statement added.

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