Statement from the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, about the protests in Kenya

26 June 2024
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The Commonwealth is deeply saddened by the recent developments in Kenya. A peaceful movement, aimed at sparking dialogue on the Finance Bill, escalated into shocking violence, destruction and tragic loss of life. Our thoughts are with all those affected. 

The Commonwealth acknowledges the Kenyan government's efforts to address the fiscal deficit through the recent Finance Bill. We recognise the challenges Kenya and other member countries face in balancing public investment needs with fiscal consolidation pressures, given the current international financial landscape. We have consistently called for urgent reforms to these structures, and we do so again now. The Commonwealth will continue to support the development of more inclusive and equitable frameworks that benefit all member countries. 

Meanwhile, we continue to closely monitor the situation and call for calm as we urge all leaders, citizens, and stakeholders in Kenya to exercise restraint and prioritise the well-being and safety of all individuals. It is imperative to respect the rule of law and uphold democratic principles, ensuring that any actions taken are proportionate within the framework of Kenya's constitution and legal framework. 

We welcome the joint statement on the protests by Ambassadors and High Commissioners to Kenya, as well as the statements by the African Union Commission, and the UN Secretary-General. We add to their pleas, calling on all authorities to be faithful to the constitution and to the rule of law. We hope for a swift return to peaceful discourse. 

The Commonwealth stands ready to support Kenya in its pursuit of peace, stability, and development. We believe in the strength and resilience of the Kenyan people and their capacity to overcome challenges through constructive dialogue, as has been the case throughout the country's long history.