Kenya slammed by new protests despite president’s pledge to scuttle controversial tax bill

Deadly weeklong protests across Kenya are more lethal than previously known. President William Ruto said in an address Tuesday, June 25 that five people had been killed. It was later reported 20 people had died protesting the controversial tax bill.

A protester returns back a teargas canister to Kenya police in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, June 27, 2024. Kenyan police on Thursday clashed with protesters in Nairobi before planned protests against a contentious finance bill, despite the president's decision not to sign it after the plans sparked deadly chaos in the capital and saw protesters storming and burning part of the parliament building. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)(AP/Brian Inganga)

But new information suggests dozens more people, many of them children, may have been killed.

The tax legislation would levy heavy new assessments on all Kenyans, including young people who’ve not even joined the workforce yet.

Ruto has withdrawn the bill that has enraged Kenyans of all ages, especially young people who set fire to the Parliament building in Nairobi on Tuesday. Notwithstanding their anger over the legislation that could force them to accept government loans to pay taxes even though they have no jobs, there are allegations of a possible cover-up in the killing of Kenyans.

Auma Obama, founder and director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation, told WTOP National Security Correspondent J.J. Green more than 100 people have reportedly been killed by police who followed them after some of them protested the bill.

Obama, sister of former U.S. President Barack Obama, also warned the West, particularly the U.S., to pay attention to what’s happening.

WTOP National Security Correspondent J.J. Green spoke with Auma Obama, founder and director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation, about the killing of Kenyans amid recent protests.

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J.J. Green

JJ Green is WTOP's National Security Correspondent. He reports daily on security, intelligence, foreign policy, terrorism and cyber developments, and provides regular on-air and online analysis. He is also the host of two podcasts: Target USA and Colors: A Dialogue on Race in America.

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