Kenya Police Fire Tear Gas at Food Protest

Posted July 7th, 2011 at 9:40 am (UTC-5)
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Police in Kenya fired tear gas Thursday at a group of protesters demonstrating against high food and fuel prices.

The crowd, of about 100 people, marched through downtown Nairobi carrying signs and chanting slogans.

They were stopped by riot police while heading to the offices of the Kenyan president and prime minister, where they were planning to demand action over their concerns.

Deputy Police Spokesman Charles Owino says police dispersed the protesters, saying they did not have permission for the gathering.

Kenya, like other east African nations, is struggling to deal with persistent drought and the global rise in world food and oil prices.

Last month, President Mwai Kibaki said the government is taking steps to protect its citizens from the effects of rising costs, such as duty reductions on certain products, the buildup of grain and fuel reserves, and an expansion of food relief programs in drought-stricken areas.