United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has lauded President William Ruto’s decision to withdraw the Finance Bill 2024 following opposition from majority of Kenyans.

In a phone conversation held on Wednesday, Blinken acknowledged Ruto’s efforts to engage in dialogue to ease tensions in the country.

“The Secretary thanked President Ruto for taking steps to reduce tensions and pledging to engage in dialogue with the protestors and civil society,” read a statement by Blinken’s Spokesperson.

Blinken further urged security forces to exercise restraint and avoid violence, calling for speedy investigations into human rights violations.

“The Secretary underscored the importance of security forces demonstrating restraint and refraining from violence and encouraged prompt investigations into allegations of human rights abuses.”

Blinken welcomed President Ruto’s commitment to upholding human rights in accordance with the constitution.

“The Secretary welcomed President Ruto’s commitment to Kenyans’ constitutionally-endowed rights, including peaceful assembly and due process for those detained.”

He reiterated the partnership between the United States and Kenya’s government and people as they work to address their economic challenges.

President Ruto on Wednesday declined to sign the Finance Bill 2024, which had sparked deadly countrywide protests.

“Following the passage of the bill, the country witnessed widespread expression of dissatisfaction with the bill as passed, regrettably resulting in the loss of life, destruction of property, and desecration of constitutional institutions,” Ruto stated.

The President said he arrived at the decision after deep reflection as well as the ongoing conversation about the contents of the contentious bill.

“I concede, and therefore I will not sign the 2024 finance bill, and it shall subsequently be withdrawn,” he stated.


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