Kenyan President Ruto Extends Olive Branch to Odinga Amidst Deadly Clashes and Calls for Dialogue

Kenyan President William Ruto has expressed his willingness to meet with opposition leader Raila Odinga after months of anti-government protests. The protests, organized by Odinga's Azimio coalition, have led to deadly clashes and calls for dialogue.

At least 50 people have been killed since March, with rights groups condemning repression and extrajudicial executions. Ruto took to Twitter to address Odinga, stating that he is available to meet one-on-one at any time that is convenient for him.

The opposition leader's coalition has staged nine days of street protests since March, which have sometimes turned violent. The talks between Ruto and Odinga broke down after initial discussions, prompting the Azimio coalition to organize additional protests this month.

Odinga has accused the police of unprecedented brutality, stating that they have targeted his Luo tribe in particular. Ruto, on the other hand, has defended the conduct of the police, expressing his desire for a country without violence or property destruction.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has condemned the escalating tensions, criticizing both the demonstrators and the police for disregarding human rights principles. Amnesty International and other rights groups have denounced the repression by the police, providing evidence of extrajudicial executions.

The interior ministry, however, has denied these allegations, stating that they are false and intended to distort public opinion. Odinga's coalition has called for solidarity parades and vigils for victims of police brutality instead of continuing with the protests.

Critics have accused President Ruto of reneging on his promises to improve the economic fortunes of impoverished Kenyans. Despite the burden of spiraling inflation, Ruto has raised taxes, which has further fueled the criticism.

Odinga maintains that the protests will continue, even though recent calls for demonstrations were largely ignored by the public. Odinga's opposition protests in 2017 ended with a surprise agreement between him and former president Uhuru Kenyatta, known as the handshake.

Next Story
Share it
To Top