Press say Kenya not immune to civil war, urge truce

Leading Kenyan newspapers have called on President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga “to consider if they want any more blood on their individual hands” as the country experiences a second day of protests against recent tax increases.

Local media have reported that six people were killed on Wednesday in clashes between Kenyan police and protesters.

In a joint editorial today, The Standard, Daily Nation, The Star and People Daily said Kenya “stands on the precipice”.

“Unless reason prevails, we could all very well tumble down into a dark and dangerous abyss from which it could be almost impossible to extricate ourselves,” the editorial said.

It added that Mr Ruto and Mr Odinga have the “greatest responsibility to put out the fire before it spreads out of control”.

The papers warned that Kenya was “not immune to civil wars” experienced in the past by neighbouring countries, saying the country could easily tip over into “full-scale genocide”.

The press also urged protesters to demonstrate responsibly and called on police not to use excessive force against them.

This comes as a section of Kenyans on social media urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take note of alleged human rights violations committed by security forces against protesters.

Meanwhile, the Media Council of Kenya has condemned cases of police officers masquerading as journalists to arrest protesters. The media watchdog said the incidents endangered journalists in their line of work.

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