Ruto says he will 'not negotiate' Kenya's security with opposition
This comes despite reaching a deal to "resolve differences amicably" yesterday.
Kenyan President William Ruto declared on Sunday that he would "not negotiate about the safety of our country" with his opponent, despite their agreement to engage in discussions to cease violent protests against his administration.
Following weeks of demonstrations and political instability, Kenya's opposition declared on Saturday that it has reached an understanding with the government to establish a joint committee "to resolve our differences amicably."
Since opposition leader Raila Odinga urged Kenyans to protest in the streets in March, his Azimio alliance has organized nine days of occasionally violent demonstrations against President William Ruto's administration.
After at least 20 people died in the protests, Odinga accused the government of being in charge of a cost-of-living problem and using excessive force against the public.
Ruto stated that he is ready to talk but warned his opponent against any further "violent demonstrations" that endanger life and property, firmly stating that he would not "negotiate about the safety of our country."
The opposition Azimio alliance accused the administration of acting dishonestly even before the discussions began, accusing them of issuing a "one-sided statement" that distorted their concerns.
Azimio warned protests would ensue if they were ignored, stressing that "until we agree that each party has the freedom and right to bring its issues to the table and as we continue to pursue discussion, we shall continue with our engagements with the people."
The alliance demanded that an audit of the 2022 election, as well as electoral reforms and police "brutality", must be among the topics discussed.
However, Ruto refuted the demands stating he would not discuss economic policy when the government was "effectuating our manifesto that is heavy on reducing the cost of living," adding that "we need to work together, our persuasions notwithstanding, to transform Kenya."
The opposition has rejected a previous statement in which both parties agreed to explore building a permanent office for Odinga while deferring consideration of the budget bill.
Last August, Odinga rejected the results of the presidential election, which announced Ruto's victory, describing the electoral process then as "a travesty and a blatant disregard of the constitution of Kenya" and accusing his rival of "stealing" the elections from him. The opposition leader also dubbed Ruto's government as "illegitimate".