Hundreds of opposition supporters who came out across Kenya, were faced with Kenyan police on Monday, who fired bullets in the air and hurled tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters in the capital Nairobi.
In the Kibera area where the youth had blocked roads with bonfires and stones, police officers confronted the crowd in running battles. Some youths were clobbered while others arrested.
The protests were sparked by a call from opposition leader Raila Odinga, who urged his supporters to take part in a nationwide demonstration demanding that President William Ruto lower the cost of living.
“The cost of living is just too high, all basic commodities are expensive, we cannot afford food and the high price of fuel has made everything worse,” Kevin Otieno, a protester told Anadolu.
Major roads in the capital Nairobi including Procession Way leading to State House remained barricaded by heavily armed police.
The opposition supporters aim to March to Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) to join opposition leader Raila Odinga in the protests as he leads them to State House to air their grievances.
The protests in Kenya are part of simultaneous demonstrations set to be held on March 20 in five other African countries, including Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, Tunisia, and South Africa.
While the protests in Kenya are focused on lowering the cost of living, the objectives of the demonstrations in other countries vary.
As the protests continue across the African continent, concerns have been raised about the use of excessive force by the police in handling demonstrations. The authorities have been urged to respect the right to peaceful protest and to ensure the safety of demonstrators.