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A man gestures at a demonstration over police killings of people protesting against Kenya's proposed finance bill 2024/2025, in Nairobi, Kenya, June 27, 2024.
REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Kenya’s president does a 180 after deadly protests

Kenyan President William Ruto on Wednesday caved to the demands of protesters and scrapped a controversial finance bill. The legislation, which would’ve raised taxes on a population already struggling with high living costs, sparked mass protests that led to a deadly police response this week.

“I will not sign the 2024 finance bill,” Ruto said Wednesday amid widespread outrage over the deaths. “The people have spoken.”

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People attend a demonstration against Kenya's proposed finance bill 2024/2025 in Nairobi, Kenya, June 25.

REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Protests turn deadly as Kenyans storm Parliament

Kenyans enraged over a new finance bill that would increase taxes attempted to storm Parliament in Nairobi on Tuesday, prompting police to use live ammunition. Part of the building was set on fire, and multiple people were reportedly killed.

The demonstrations, which have also spread to other major cities and led Kenya to deploy the military, have been “a long time coming” and reflect the general mood across the country, says Caroline Gray, a Fulbright scholar based in Nairobi.

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