Kenyan protesters demand President Ruto’s resignation amidst violent clashes

Riot police clashed with stone-throwing protesters in downtown Nairobi and across Kenya on Tuesday 2 July 2024, deploying tear gas in the most extensive unrest since at least two dozen protesters died in clashes a week ago. The nationwide demonstrations indicate that President William Ruto’s abandonment of proposed tax increases has not quelled the spontaneous youth protest movement.

Tuesday’s initially peaceful demonstrations in Nairobi turned violent as the day progressed. Riot police, equipped with helmets, shields, and clubs, charged at protesters and deployed tear gas in the downtown business district. A kiosk was set on fire, medics attended to an injured youth, and police detained several protesters, bundling them into a pickup truck.

In Mombasa, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets carrying palm fronds, blowing plastic horns, and beating drums while chanting “Ruto must go!” Later, NTV, a news television, reported two people shot and cars set ablaze in the city. President Ruto faces the toughest crisis of his nearly two-year presidency, balancing lender demands to cut deficits and a population struggling with a soaring cost of living.