The Commonwealth has raised concerns over the escalating anti-government protests and resultant violence being witnessed in Kenya.
In a statement, the Commonwealth Secretariat called for dialogue between the President William Ruto and Raila Odinga-led opposition sides to deal with the challenges facing Kenyans.
“The Commonwealth is deeply concerned at the ongoing escalation of violence, conflict and loss of life in Kenya and calls on all leaders and communities to engage in dialogue to resolve the challenges Kenya faces," a Commonwealth Secretariat spokesperson said.
The Commonwealth, which has a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal countries, expressed its willingness to aid Kenya to deal with the ongoing confrontation.
“As always, the Commonwealth stands ready to assist in any way possible in resolving the ongoing conflict and disruption," the spokesperson stated.
They called on both sides of the political divide to practice restraint over the protests attributed to the high cost of living.
“While economic concerns are the root of the conflict, it is troubling that the protests have seen an increase in the use of hate speech and we call on leaders of all sides of the political divide to deescalate the situation," the statement went on.
According to the Commonwealth, which is headquartered in London, only constructive dialogue will resolve the current stalemate in Kenya and called for practical and sustainable solutions to the current economic woes.
“Dialogue is the best solution to the current situation.
"We strongly encourage all parties to engage now in constructive dialogue based upon Commonwealth values and mutual respect and for Kenya’s leaders to quickly explore practical and sustainable solutions to the challenges their country and communities face.”
This comes as Raila and his opposition outfit Azimio La Umoja called for widespread demonstrations from Wednesday to Friday demanding that the Ruto administration shelves the tax-loaded Finance Act and urgently address the current high cost of living.
On his part, President Ruto has accused the opposition of seeking a backdoor into government and asked for more time to deliver on his Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) and defended his decision to hike taxes across board despite opposition by a cross section of Kenyans.