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Maandamano: War-torn Ukraine calls for ceasefire between Ruto and Raila

Thirteen European countries, among them Ukraine which has been at war with Russia for more than a year now, have called on President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga to embrace dialogue to avert a full-blown political crisis in the country.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the 13 ambassadors and High Commissioners said they are concerned that the planned three-day protests by Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition could lead to loss of lives.

“We are saddened by the loss of life and concerned by the high level of violence, including the use of live ammunition and destruction of property, during the recent demonstrations,” the statement by the envoys reads in part.

Also read: Azimio demands reinstatement of Raila’s security ahead of three-day protests

“We recognise the daily hardships faced by many Kenyans and urge all parties to address their concerns through meaningful dialogue and to resolve their differences peacefully in order to build the nation together and ensure that there is no further loss of life,” the envoys said.

The Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Ukraine, United States, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland and United Kingdom said they are ready to support the feuding parties in their efforts to find constructive and peaceful solutions.

Their calls continue to pile pressure on President Ruto and Mr Odinga to find a common ground even after Azimio leaders on Tuesday said the anti-government protests will go on as planned.

Also read: Government withdraws Raila’s security ahead of Azimio’s three-day protests

The coalition has maintained that the demonstrations, which are aimed at forcing the government to address the high cost of living and calls for electoral reforms, will be peaceful.

President Ruto, on his part, has vowed that he will not engage Mr Odinga and that his government will not allow protesters to disrupt businesses and destroy property.

During last week’s demonstrations, at least nine people were killed as protesters clashed with anti-riot police officers while more than 300 people were arrested in connection with the violent demonstrations.

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