Unrest spiraled in Kisii county on Sunday, July 5, after a police officer shot and killed a civilian in Rioma (Marani sub-county) over the sale of hand sanitizer. The police reportedly accused the individual of breeching coronavirus disease (COVID-19) guidelines and selling fake sanitizer. It is not clear how the situation then escalated to the police shooting the individual, but his death caused uproar in the local community. Running battles ensued between locals and police around the Rioma market and a section of the local police station was set on fire.
Further unrest is likely in the area over the near term.
Kenyan police have been accused of killing at least 15 people while enforcing COVID-19 restrictions. Several previous incidents are already being investigated by the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IOPA).
Individuals in Kenya are advised to monitor developments, avoid demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence near protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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