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Avoid going to protest areas – Ghana’s High Commissioner to Kenya tells Ghanaians


Ghana’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Damptey Bediako Asare has warned Ghanaians in Kenya to avoid the protest areas. To Ghanaians planning on travelling to Kenya, he advised them to stay informed. “But concerning Ghanaians travelling to Kenya, either for tourism or business or any other purpose, at this stage, with what is happening, we can only advise that you stay informed. If you are already in the country, our advice is that you keep updated with the latest news, particularly from local news outlets and international news platforms.

“If you are still in Kenya, it may be advisable to avoid protest areas,” Damptey Bediako Asare told journalists on Tuesday, June 25. Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, has expressed deep concern about the outbreak of violence in Kenya following public protests which has resulted in loss of life and damage to property.

A statement issued by the Union, dated June 25 said the Chairperson urges all stakeholders to exercise calm and refrain from further violence. “The Chairperson also appeals to national stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue to address the contentious issues that led to the protests in the supreme interest of Kenya,” the statement added.

“The Chairperson reiterates the total solidarity of the African Union with the Government and People of Kenya and exhorts them to maintain peace, security and stability in the country,” H.E. Mahamat stated.

Earlier, CNN reported that Kenyan President William Ruto denounced the protests on Tuesday that saw parliament stormed and at least five people shot dead as “treasonous” – but did not address the swelling outrage against a controversial finance bill that sparked the widespread demonstrations.

Kenya is in the grip of nationwide protests against proposed tax hikes, culminating in Tuesday’s “total shutdown” of the country, which quickly turned violent as police used tear gas and live rounds on protesters. A CNN team saw two bodies lying motionless on the ground in Nairobi as the country’s parliament was breached.

During a nationwide address after parliament was set alight, Ruto said the events on Tuesday were a grave threat to “national security” and that the conversation around the bill had been “hijacked by dangerous people.”

“It is not in order, or even conceivable, that criminals pretending to be peaceful protesters can reign terror against the people, their elected representatives, and the institutions established under our Constitution and expect to go scot-free,” the president said, adding that democratic expression and crime must be isolated from one another.

Kenya’s defence ministry said the military has been deployed to support the country’s police services as human rights and civil society groups criticize the heavy-handed response by the police on Tuesday.

In a related development, five Ghanaian Members of Parliament, including MP for Odododiodioo, Nii Lamptey Venderpuiye and the Clerk to Parliament were caught up in the raid on the Kenyan Parliament. According to Mr Vanderpuiye, they are all safe.

By:  Laud Nartey

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