The African Union Commission has expressed deep concern over a surge of violent protests in Kenya, leading to loss of life, damage to property, and economic disruption.
Highlighted in a statement dated March 27, the regional body is called for calm and dialogue between President William Ruto and the opposition leader Raila Odinga.
AU Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, urged all parties to prioritize national unity and reconciliation.
“We recall the successful conduct of General Elections in August 2022 in Kenya and the subsequent unanimous confirmation of the election outcome by the Supreme Court,” he said in a press release.
He added, “We reiterate our solidarity with and support for the Government and the People of Kenya’s efforts working towards national unity, peace, and stability in the country.”
Meanwhile, responding to Monday’s protests by Azimio La Umoja, the Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Vedant Patel regretted the loss of life and urged all parties to refrain from violence and inciting rhetoric.
“Countries that protect these fundamental freedoms and support an open, inclusive, and empowered civil society are more stable and prosperous,” Patel said. “Kenya benefits from having an active and vibrant civil society.”
During the protests, one person was shot dead and several others were injured. The property was destroyed, including a mosque and church in Kibera slums, and businesses were closed for the better part of the day.
The protests were declared illegal and banned by the police, leading to clashes between security forces and protesters.
The police reported injuries to 20 officers and the arrest of over 20 suspects.