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Kenyans must obey rule of law - President Ruto

Kenyan President William Ruto speaks at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue in Berlin, Tuesday March 28, 2023.   -  
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Speaking in Berlin at the Federal Chancellery, Tuesday (Mar. 28), Kenya’s president described the protests staged at home as "challenges of democracy."

His comments came one day after demonstrations were marred by violence and looting in Nairobi and the country's west.

"What is going on in Kenya is the usual challenges of democracy where people want to challenge the rule of law."

William Ruto held a press conference with the German chancellor Olaf Scholz. The president vowed action against looters.

"My position as president is that the property, the lives, the businesses, of everybody -- Kenyans and foreigners -- will be protected by the government of Kenya. All those involved in criminal activity, whoever they are, irrespective of what their status is, will be brought to book."

Since the campaign of nationwide protests kicked off on March 20th, hundreds have been arrested and two people have died.

Thousands marched in Kenya Monday, following the call by opposition leader Raila Odinga to demonstrate twice a week in order to protest the country's cost of living crisis.

The violence has sparked worry among Kenyans, who are already grappling with skyrocketing inflation and a jobs crisis.

Hundreds of looters descended on former president Uhuru Kenyatta's vast farm on the outskirts of Nairobi, stealing sheep and cutting trees before setting a section of the property on fire. 

Gangs also targeted Odinga's gas company Spectre International Ltd in Nairobi.

AU Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat on Tuesday voiced "deep concern" at the violence and appealed for calm.

During the election campaign, Ruto portrayed himself as champion of the downtrodden and vowed to improve the lot of ordinary Kenyans.

But he has since removed subsidies for fuel and maize flour — a dietary staple.

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