Kenya opposition says it suspends protests after agreement with government

  • World
  • Thursday, 04 May 2023

FILE PHOTO: A woman takes part in a nationwide protest over the cost of living and against President William Ruto's government as supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity) One Kenya Alliance protest in Nairobi, Kenya March 27, 2023. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's opposition on Wednesday said they had suspended the latest anti-government protests planned for Thursday after reaching an agreement with the government of President William Ruto.

In a statement, the opposition Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity) alliance, led by veteran opposition politician Raila Odinga, said its leadership had met and "agreed to once more suspend the mass protests that we had earlier scheduled to continue tomorrow."

The decision to suspend the protests was taken after Ruto's ruling Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First) alliance agreed "to one of our demands," according to the statement. The opposition did not provide details of the agreement.

On Monday the coalition resumed the twice-weekly protests begun in March to highlight high living costs and alleged fraud in last year's election.

Odinga is also using the protests to pile political pressure on Ruto, whom he accuses of rigging his victory in last year's polls.

The demonstrations have been marred by clashes between police and protesters as well as sporadic violent incidents like the torching of property and use of teargas.

In early April the opposition had suspended the protests after agreeing to talks with Ruto's representatives, but later announced the protests would resume, accusing the government of not negotiating in good faith.

(Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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