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WATCH: Obama's Half-Sister Auma Tear-Gassed On-Air, Coughs and Covers Eyes During Deadly Protest

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Source: MEGA

Former president Barack Obama's older half-sister Auma Obama was tear-gassed in the middle of a live interview with CNN during deadly protests in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday.

Jun. 25 2024, Published 4:26 p.m. ET

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Former president Barack Obama's older half-sister, Auma Obama, was tear-gassed during a live interview with CNN amid deadly protests in Nairobi, Kenya, has learned.

"I am here because — look at what's happening," Auma told CNN's Larry Madowo on-air. "Young Kenyans are demonstrating for their rights. They are demonstrating with flags and banners.”

"I can't even see anymore," Auma continued as she began choking and coughing after Kenyan police unleashed tear gas on demonstrators marching outside the Parliament building on Tuesday. "We are being tear-gassed."

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Auma, who grew up in Kenya, returned to the country and became a community activist after studying and living in Germany and the United Kingdom for several decades. Her Sauti Kuu Foundation helps orphans and young people in Kenya struggling with poverty.

Widespread protests broke out in Kenya following the passage of a controversial new finance bill raising taxes on basic commodities including bread, cooking oil, sugar, vehicles, sanitary pads, and diapers.

Thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets and stormed the Parliament building on Tuesday, setting part of it on fire, as police opened fire after tear gas and water cannons failed to disperse the crowds.

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The New York Times reported that at least five people were shot and killed and over 30 more wounded after Kenya's president, William Ruto deployed the military to crack down on the protests.

According to Amnesty International, "At least five people have died from gunshot wounds. Thirty-one people have been injured. 13 have been shot with live bullets, 4 with rubber bullets, and 3 people have been hit with launcher canisters. 11 others survived with minor injuries."

At least 21 prominent activists and critics of the tax bill have reportedly disappeared after being abducted by uniformed and non-uniformed police officers.

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In a speech on Tuesday, Ruto called the protests "treasonous" and a threat to national security.

"It is very painful for Kenya that a conversation this crucial was hijacked by dangerous people, who have caused us the kind of loss we have incurred as a nation today," he said.

In a joint statement, the ambassadors of 13 Western embassies in Kenya, including the United States, stated they were "deeply concerned by the violence witnessed in many parts of the country during the recent protests, and are especially shocked by the scenes witnessed outside the Kenyan Parliament."



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