The Government of Norway on Thursday, March 23, expressed its concern over ongoing demonstrations being led by the Raila Odinga-led Azimio coalition.
This was communicated through Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya Gunnar Andreas Holm when he paid a courtesy visit to National Assembly (NA) Speaker Moses Wetang’ula.
Through a press statement released by the NA Speaker, Gunnar revealed that the Norwegian Government was worried about the outcome of the protests.
“The Ambassador was curious on how the demonstrations called by the Azimio will affect the house business and the country at large,” the statement read in part.
Wetang’ula, who was once part of Raila’s close circle, briefed the Ambassador on grievances being championed by Azimio among them the stoppage of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) recruitment exercise.
On why the government cannot relent to Azimio’s demands, the Speaker explained, “The demonstrators are calling for the stoppage of the IEBC recruitment while at the same time, two elections have been annulled and the law requires a by-election be conducted after 90 days and here, there is no IEBC Commission in place.”
Wetang’ula assured Norway and all Kenyans that everything was under control and institutions mandated to protect life and property in the country were up to the task.
The concerns raised by Norway were made two days after Kenya pleaded with foreign missions based in Nairobi to help the government in quelling the protests.
In a statement made on Tuesday, March 21, the Foreign Affairs Ministry alleged Azimio was committing atrocities in the guise of protests.
“The government urges the international community to be vigilant in supporting the sanctioning of any conduct adverse to the peace and security of the country,” the government pleaded with the international community.
In response, Raila accused the international community of going to bed with the government.
“We remind the international community that Azimio is pursuing the ideals of democracy and human rights that many of them purport to hold dear.
“The people of Kenya are keenly watching how they will respond to Ruto's unfolding republic of fear. For our part, we will not relent, or surrender, to an illegitimate regime," the statement dated Wednesday, March 22, read in part.