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Tensions rise in Kenya as US Senator’s efforts to broker peace fail

by Paul Nyongesa
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Despite efforts by the United States government to broker talks between President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga to quell unrest occasioned by weekly protests, demonstrations by the opposition group continue.

US Senator for Delaware Chris Coons, who has previously been involved in efforts to broker a truce in Kenya, met separately with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Raila Odinga, however, both politicians stuck to hard-line positions in public statements ahead of the anti-government protests.

While Gachagua acknowledged talks with the US delegation, he did not mention any discussions regarding dealings with the opposition. Meanwhile, Odinga insisted that the planned demonstrations would continue to push President Ruto’s administration to lower the high cost of living, open last year’s presidential election servers for audit, and stop unilateral reconstitution of the electoral agency.

Azimio Executive Council Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya said the planned protests are on, despite the meeting with Coons. Odinga also posted a video on his social media declaring that the protests are on.

The US-led effort has failed to stop the demonstrations, with protesters demanding an end to electoral injustice and high cost of living. The opposition group also called for the halting of the poaching of opposition legislators in Parliament, as well as the resignation of members who wish to join the government.

The situation in Kenya remains tense, with opposition leaders accusing foreign democracies, including the US and UK, of ignoring grievances over electoral injustice.

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