At approximately 1500 local time (1200 UTC) on 25 June 2024, police officers fired live ammunition against demonstrators attempting to storm the Kenyan parliament building in the capital Nairobi amid nationwide protests demanding that legislators reject the government’s proposed 2024 Finance Bill. Police officers are currently engaged in removing protesters from the parliament building grounds. Demonstrators set fire to a building in the complex and committed several other acts of vandalism. Elsewhere in the city, protesters set fire to the Nairobi Governor’s Office building, located on City Hall Way. In the lead-up to the incident, protesters attempted to forcibly gain access to the parliament grounds via a gate located on Parliament Road, where they also set fire to a police vehicle and vandalized a section of the parliament building’s fence adjacent to the former Intercontinental Hotel. Preliminary reports indicate that at least 10 people were killed and as many as 45 protesters were injured. Moreover, hours earlier, police officers had deployed tear gas to disperse protesters in Nairobi’s central business district, while a separate group of protesters attempted to obstruct a military tank that was deploying a water cannon against demonstrators on Kenyatta Avenue.

Prior to the storming of the parliament building, the controversial Finance Bill — which aims to raise taxes in an effort to lower national consumer debt — was approved by a margin of 195 votes in favor and 106 against with three abstentions. Despite the government’s attempts to placate protesters, which included the removal of the bill’s associated tax increases on basic products such as bread, violent protests concentrated in Nairobi have persisted since 18 June. Violent incidents between police officers and protesters have taken place in other parts of Kenya, including the towns of Eldoret and Isiolo. Associated protests were also occurring in Hola, Kakamega, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Kwale, Nakuru, Narok, Nyeri, and Turkana.

Analyst Comment: Due to the 2024 Finance Bill’s approval, clashes between police officers and demonstrators are likely to continue at least over the next 24 hours. Travelers should expect heightened security measures in and around prominent public spaces, resulting in transportation disruptions. Public medical facilities in Nairobi are will also likely experience an influx of trauma patients, as injury and death figures from the violence increase. Highway travel will also most likely be complicated by protester-erected roadblocks.