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Parliament storming, arsons, and Obama's sister among injured: What is known about protests in Kenya

Parliament storming, arsons, and Obama's sister among injured: What is known about protests in Kenya Photo: Crowds of protesters in Kenya (

Mass protests have engulfed Kenya amid the government's adoption of a law to raise taxes. People are storming government buildings and setting vehicles on fire. As a result of clashes with law enforcement, there are casualties and dozens injured, including the sister of former US President Barack Obama.

RBC-Ukraine has compiled everything currently known about the protests in Kenya.

What is happening in Kenya

In recent days, protests have swept through Nairobi and several other cities in Kenya. The largest scale of protests occurred on June 25 under the call of a movement named 7 Days of Rage. Social media had spread messages about plans for a full shutdown on Tuesday.

The dissatisfaction among Kenyans is due to a proposed tax hike that will primarily affect ordinary citizens and businesses.

The proposed law aims to raise an additional $2.7 billion in taxes to pay off Kenya's debt to international creditors, including the IMF.

Amid public dissatisfaction, the government made concessions and repealed some controversial provisions (a value-added tax on bread and a tax on transport vehicles), but this did not satisfy the protesters.

Protesters stormed the parliament in Nairobi

In the first half of the day on June 25, protesters attempted to storm the parliament in Nairobi while a controversial bill was being debated. Hundreds of people broke into the building.

Police attempted to disperse the demonstrators using tear gas, which led to a fire starting. Members of parliament inside the building managed to evacuate through an underground passage.

Additionally, protesters set fire to vehicles near the Supreme Court of Kenya. Representatives of the Red Cross and their vehicles were among those affected during the unrest.

Victims and Obama's sister among those affected

At least 5 people have died as a result of the unrest, and over 30 others have been injured, according to CNN citing statements from several human rights groups.

Additionally, there are reports of human rights violations during the protests. Human rights groups emphasize that the protests escalated into violence, particularly due to the police's use of firearms.

Among the injured was the half-sister of former US President Barack Obama - Kenyan activist Auma Obama. She was among the protesters when police deployed tear gas.

Штурм парламенту, підпали та сестра Обами серед постаждалих. Що відомо про протести в Кенії

Photo: Auma Obama at a protest rally (х.com/EdwardOmwansa)

Internet issues

The monitoring portal NetBlocks reported that on Tuesday, Kenya experienced a "major disruption" in internet connectivity.

"The incident comes amidst a deadly crackdown by police on protesters a day after authorities claimed there would be no internet shutdown," NetBlocks said in a statement on X.

The outages also affected neighboring countries including Burundi, Uganda, and Rwanda.

Штурм парламенту, підпали та сестра Обами серед постаждалих. Що відомо про протести в Кенії

Photo: Internet outage in Kenya (

NetBlocks added that "the incident is likely to limit coverage of events on the ground where protests are held."

Government deployed military forces, and the president declared an 'existential threat'

Kenya's Ministry of Defense Cabinet Secretary, Aden Duale, announced that the government will deploy military personnel to support the police "in response to the security emergency caused by the ongoing violent protests" in various parts of the country, which have led "to destruction and breaching of critical infrastructure."

Later in the evening, President William Ruto made a statement. He emphasized that ensuring the safety of families and property is a priority during the protests. Ruto added that "a group of organized criminals" is involved in the unrest.

At the same time, the president thanked the youth who were at the forefront of protests against tax increases for initiating a relevant conversation, but stressed that it should be conducted in a manner that "respects the rule of law and respect for institutions".

Ruto concluded by stating that the government will treat every threat to national security as an "existential threat to our republic" and consider participants in such threats as "traitors."

Sources: CNN, Reuters, BBC, and data from NetBlocks.