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Unease over heavy deployment of police officers in Raila’s Nyanza backyard

The heavy deployment of police officers in Nyanza region has ignited fresh claims of unlawful actions and human rights violations by the law enforcers.

As tension continued to rise in the country following Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition’s anti-government protests, leaders from various sectors are now calling for an end to violence against unarmed civilians.

The situation in Nyanza has escalated to a point where police officers have been accused breaking the same law that they are meant to uphold. Reports of the use of live bullets against unarmed civilians and the killing of individuals in their homes have sparked public outrage and condemnation.

Opiyo Wandayi, the Minority Leader in the National Assembly, is among Azimio la Umoja leaders who have strongly condemned the government over what he termed as targeting Mr Raila Odinga’s community in the latest wave of a anti-government protests.

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“The genocide-like operation underway in Luo-land is not accidental. It is coordinated and premeditated. It is being coordinated by political and government leaders both from the community and outside. It is unfortunate and indeed depressing that our own sons and daughters in government are working with outsiders to allow the extermination of the Luo,” Mr Wandayi said in a statement.

“We are united in this struggle. We are mobilizing resources to support our people during these difficult times, but we also call on the government to take immediate action to disband all illegal armed groups and militias responsible for the atrocities,” the legislator further said.

Mr Wandayi said the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as enshrined in the Constitution, must be upheld without discrimination.

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“We cannot and will not be silenced. Our rights must be respected, and we shall overcome this difficult period united and determined to secure justice and peace,” he said.

With Azimio la Umoja having announced that they will hold more protests next week on Wednesday, calls for unity, political tolerance and adherence to the rule of law have intensified.

While President William Ruto has indicated that he will not engage the opposition over their grievances, his government is now under increasing pressure to defuse the political standoff that is threatening to degenerate into a full blown crisis.

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