Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (2024)

Table of Contents
Summary Live Reporting What happened today?published at 20:26 25 June20:26 25 June Watch: Live BBC report interrupted by man with a gunpublished at 20:19 25 June20:19 25 June 'They need to hear us' - protesterpublished at 20:09 25 June20:09 25 June UN calls for restraint and 'peaceful' demonstrationspublished at 20:05 25 June20:05 25 June 'Listening to the people is a mandate' - former president of Kenyapublished at 19:56 25 June19:56 25 June Today's events were 'treasonous', says Rutopublished at 19:47 25 June19:47 25 June Threats to national security are 'existential threat to republic' - Rutopublished at 19:20 25 June19:20 25 June Protesters raise 'pertinent question' that needs to be addressed differently - Rutopublished at 19:14 25 June19:14 25 June Ruto claims protests have been 'infiltrated' by 'criminals'published at 19:08 25 June19:08 25 June Ruto begins updatepublished at 19:04 25 June19:04 25 June President Ruto to give updatepublished at 18:58 25 June18:58 25 June Military deployed to support police over protestspublished at 18:38 25 June18:38 25 June Kenya's president faces tough choices following protestspublished at 18:15 25 June18:15 25 June In pictures: Protesters get inside parliamentpublished at 17:52 25 June17:52 25 June White House 'urges calm' over protestspublished at 17:33 25 June17:33 25 June Kenya is bleeding - Catholic bishopspublished at 17:11 25 June17:11 25 June British High Commission 'shocked' by violencepublished at 17:04 25 June17:04 25 June At least five shot dead during protests - reportspublished at 16:47 25 June16:47 25 June Hospital staff dealing with injuriespublished at 16:30 25 June16:30 25 June Kenya Red Cross vehicles and staff attackedpublished at 16:16 25 June16:16 25 June References

Summary

  • Protests over a controversial new finance bill saw police and demonstrators clash, with five people killed, according to the Kenya Medical Association

  • Earlier part of the Kenyan parliament was set on fire after protesters opposed to new tax laws breached the complex where the building sits

  • Some MPs reportedly sheltered in the parliament's basem*nt after they passed the bill which would bring in tax hikes

  • Gunshots and the firing of teargas has been heard all day in Nairobi

  • BBC reporters have seen bodies on the street, and witnessed police throwing tear gas at protesters

  • Protests took place in other parts of Kenya, as anger surges over the new measures

  • On Tuesday evening, Kenyan president William Ruto blamed the clashes on "criminals" who he says "hijacked" the protests. He vowed a "full response" to the violence

Live Reporting

Edited by Alex Binley

  1. What happened today?published at 20:26 25 June

    20:26 25 June

    Thank you for joining us today. We're closing this live page now but here's a summary on the key events of the day.

    • Police and protesters clashed in demonstrations over a controversial new finance bill that introduces unpopular tax proposals
    • This left at least five people dead according to a paramedic on the ground, while about 40 people are reportedly being treated in hospital
    • BBC reporters saw bodies on the street and witnessed police throwing tear gas at protesters
    • During the protests, part of the Kenyan parliament was set alight after protesters breached the complex
    • Hundreds of MPs were unable to leave the building and reportedly took cover in the basem*nt
    • A short while ago, Kenyan president William Ruto blamed the clashes on "criminals" who he says "hijacked" the protests. He vowed a "full response" to the violence
  2. Watch: Live BBC report interrupted by man with a gunpublished at 20:19 25 June

    20:19 25 June

    A live BBC report from Nairob was interrupted by a man wielding a rifle after the parliament was stormed in protest against a tax bill.

    There have been reports of people being wounded as police fired rounds to disperse the crowds.

    Once safe, the BBC's Mercy Juma returned to explaining what has led to the violence.

  3. 'They need to hear us' - protesterpublished at 20:09 25 June

    20:09 25 June

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (1)

    May of the protesters are young people, 23-year-old protester Maureen Awuor tells the BBC.

    "Our voice must be heard... we are the generation that is coming up, so they need to hear us."

  4. UN calls for restraint and 'peaceful' demonstrationspublished at 20:05 25 June

    20:05 25 June

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (2)Image source, Reuters

    Shortly before Ruto's address, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for restraint in Kenya by police and security forces and urged protesters to be peaceful, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

    "It is very important that the rights of people to demonstrate peacefully be upheld," Mr Dujarric said.

  5. 'Listening to the people is a mandate' - former president of Kenyapublished at 19:56 25 June

    19:56 25 June

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (3)Image source, Reuters

    The former president of Kenya has issued a statement calling for calm and restraint from the country's leaders.

    "I want to remind all leaders that they were elected by the people," Uhuru Kenyatta said in a letter to Kenyans.

    "Listening to the people is not a choice but a mandate enshrined in the principles of our constitution, and in the very basis and philosophy of democracy."

    He urged the leadership to "embrace dialogue and speak to the people and not at the people".

    "Leaders must know that power and authority they have is donated to them by the people".

  6. Today's events were 'treasonous', says Rutopublished at 19:47 25 June

    19:47 25 June

    Rhoda Odhiambo
    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Kenyan President William Ruto has termed today’s protests as "treasonous events".

    In a televised address from State House, Ruto said the demonstrations had been "hijacked" and he was putting "on notice the planners, financiers, orchestrators, abetters of violence and anarchy".

    He added that the military had been deployed across the country “in response to the security emergency caused by the ongoing violent protests".

    “This marks a critical turning point in how we respond to such threats on national security," he said.

    “Today’s attack resulted in the loss of lives, destruction of property and a lack of respect for the institutions, the head of state said.

    It is still not clear how many people have died but the Kenya Medical Association counted five people.

    Many of those injured are receiving treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

  7. Threats to national security are 'existential threat to republic' - Rutopublished at 19:20 25 June

    19:20 25 June

    Ruto ends by saying the government will treat every threat to national security as an "existential threat to our republic", and actors in such threats will be viewed as "treasonous".

  8. Protesters raise 'pertinent question' that needs to be addressed differently - Rutopublished at 19:14 25 June

    19:14 25 June

    Ruto thanks young people - who have been at the forefront of the tax hike protests - for raising a "pertinent" conversation but says this must "be conducted in a manner that respects the rule of law and respect for institutions".

    "It is very painful for Kenya that a conversation this crucial was hijacked by dangerous people," he continues.

    "It is not in order that criminals pretending to be peaceful protestors can raise terror against the people - and expect to go scot free."

  9. Ruto claims protests have been 'infiltrated' by 'criminals'published at 19:08 25 June

    19:08 25 June

    President Ruto begins by addressing the anti-tax protests, which he describes as being "infiltrated and hijacked by organised criminals".

    He says all available resources have been deployed against those who "undermine the security of the country".

  10. Ruto begins updatepublished at 19:04 25 June

    19:04 25 June

    Kenyan president William Ruto is speaking now. Stay with us as we bring you the latest updates from him.

  11. President Ruto to give updatepublished at 18:58 25 June

    18:58 25 June

    Kenya's president William Ruto will speak at a press briefing shortly, addressing the tax hike protests that have taken place today.

    We will bring you the latest on this when it starts.

  12. Military deployed to support police over protestspublished at 18:38 25 June

    18:38 25 June

    The military has been deployed to support the police in the ongoing "violent protests", we've just learned.

    In a statement, Aden Bare Duale, chairperson for the defence council said the protests are "resulting in destruction and breaching of critical infrastructure".

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (4)

  13. Kenya's president faces tough choices following protestspublished at 18:15 25 June

    18:15 25 June

    Stewart Maclean
    BBC News Nairobi

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (5)Image source, Reuters

    The choices facing Kenya's President William Ruto are now far from easy.

    Elected in 2022 pledging to cut corruption, shore up the country's faltering economy and help the poor, the embattled Mr Ruto now faces an unprecedented rebellion against his finance bill - legislation he says is an essential part of his plan to build the nation.

    It might be easier to know which way to turn if the opposition Mr Ruto faced was confined within parliament.

    An astute political player, deputy president for almost a decade before being elected to the top spot, Mr Ruto has years of experience wrangling politics to get things done.

    Now though, the forces massed against him are something truly beyond his control.

    Click here to read more on this.

  14. In pictures: Protesters get inside parliamentpublished at 17:52 25 June

    17:52 25 June

    We were brining you news earlier that parliament had been stormed by protesters and some buildings had been set alight.

    Here are some photos that have come through of the scenes then:

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (6)Image source, EPA

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (7)Image source, EPA

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (8)Image source, EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (9)Image source, EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

  15. White House 'urges calm' over protestspublished at 17:33 25 June

    17:33 25 June

    There's been more diplomatic reaction to the protests coming through.

    A White House National Security Council spokesperson said the US is "closelymonitoring the situation in Nairobi, where police opened fire on demonstrators trying to storm the Kenyan parliament, and isurging calm"

    Earlier a group of ambassadors had said they were "especially shocked by the scenes witnessed outside the Kenyan Parliament".

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (10)Image source, AFP

  16. Kenya is bleeding - Catholic bishopspublished at 17:11 25 June

    17:11 25 June

    Kenya's influential Catholic bishops are urging the government to give time to aggrieved citizens and address the "pain caused by the escalating cost of living" in the country.

    "We plead with the president to listen to the voices of so many Kenyans. The country is bleeding," the bishops say in a statement.

    "Young people are right to express their desperation."

    They condemned the use of excessive force by police and urged the young people to avoid destroying property.

    The demonstrations across Kenya were sparked by a controversial finance bill that was passed on Tuesday that raises a number of different taxes.

    The government had earlier withdrawn a number of the most controversial measures - such as a tax on bread and cooking oil, but this did not assuage people's anger.

  17. British High Commission 'shocked' by violencepublished at 17:04 25 June

    17:04 25 June

    A group of ambassadors and high commissioners for countries including Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the US and the Netherlands have issued a statement expressing "concern" at the violence ensuing at the protests.

    "We are especially shocked by the scenes witnessed outside the Kenyan Parliament," the British High Commission posted on Facebook.

    "We regret the tragic loss of life and injuries sustained including the use of live fire," they said. The group says it is also "deeply concerned" by "allegations of abductions of protesters", and is calling for "restraint on all sides".

    "All actors have the responsibility to respect, uphold, promote and uphold the rule of law, particularly by ensuring a proportionate security response".

    Other signatories include the embassy of Finland, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Romania and Belgium.

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (11)Image source, AFP

  18. At least five shot dead during protests - reportspublished at 16:47 25 June

    16:47 25 June

    Will Ross
    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (12)Image source, AFP

    Police in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, have shot dead at least five people during huge protests against planned tax increases, according to the Kenya Medical Association.

    A journalist form the Reuters news agency also reported counting the bodies of at least five protesters outside parliament.

    Earlier, the crowds broke through police cordons and entered parliament, setting part of the complex alight.

    Fire also broke out in Nairobi City Hall.

    About 40 people are being treated in hospital.

  19. Hospital staff dealing with injuriespublished at 16:30 25 June

    16:30 25 June

    Mercy Juma
    BBC News, Nairobi

    I'm outside the emergency unit at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi. Ambulances are coming in with casualties– about four in the last 30 mins.

    Motorbikes are bringing people in too. Some peoplehave already been bandaged up.

    Most of the injured aremen. They look very young and are definitely protesters.

    Hospital staff have set up a temporary structure outside the unit to receive morecasualties.

    It feels quite safe here. There are no police checks at the entrance to thehospital or police on the hospital grounds.

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (13)

  20. Kenya Red Cross vehicles and staff attackedpublished at 16:16 25 June

    16:16 25 June

    Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (14)Image source, Kenya Red Corss

    Kenya Red Cross says its vehicles have been attacked and their staff and volunteers injured while transporting wounded people away from the protests."We can't provide life-saving interventions without access and safety for our staff and volunteers.

    "It is crucial that we are granted access to continue our humanitarian efforts without hindrance," the charity posted on X., external

    It did not say who had attacked its vehicles or injured its staff and volunteers.

Kenya protests live: President vows to restore order after deadly tax hike demonstrations (2024)

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