(LONDON) — Kenya is bracing for three days of anti-government protests led by the government’s political opposition over a contentious new finance bill and the rising cost of living

The protests, which began on Wednesday, have been called by opposition leader Raila Odinga. The unrest was set to take place despite Kenya’s President William Ruto vowing no protests would take place in the East African Nation.

“We are here, first and foremost, to confirm that the peaceful protests planned for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week are on as earlier declared by our leadership,” read a statement by Odinga’s party, Azimio La Umoja, sent to ABC News.

At least five protesters were injured on Wednesday as demonstrators clashed with police. Amnesty International Kenya said, said that “para-military police officers and armored water cannon trucks [are] already patrolling and engaging protestors across several towns and neighborhoods.”

In Kibera — a stronghold of the opposition — protests turned violent, with demonstrators setting fire to tires and furniture, stones being pelted, and tear gas being deployed by police. In the most recent round of anti-government protests at least 23 people are reported to have been killed according to the U.N., with over 300 arrested.

Protests have also been reported in Kenya’s Kisumu, Kisii and Migori counties.

Kenya’s Ministry of Education also announced that all primary and secondary schools in Nairobi and the coastal city Mombasa are to close on Wednesday as a “precautionary measure” following “credible security intelligence.” Several businesses also remain closed.

The protests come after Ruto last month signed into law a contentious finance bill at Nairobi’s State House that proposed doubling the tax levied on fuel from 8% to 16%.

The bill aimed to aid in offsetting Kenya’s external debt, officials said. However, the bill will have a ripple effect on the price of basic commodities, compounding on the economic strain of Kenyans already struggling with the rising cost of living.

Implementation of the Bill — which was due to come into effect on July 1 — was halted by Kenya’s High Court following a case brought by opposition Sen. Okiya Omatah, who argued it was unconstitutional.

In a joint statement with Heads of Missions from 13 countries in Kenya, the U.S. Embassy Nairobi said it was “saddened” by the loss of life from anti-government protests and “concerned by the levels of violence” exhibited during recent demonstrations.

“We recognise the daily hardship faced by many Kenyans and urge all parties to table their concerns through a meaningful dialogue and resolve their differences peacefully,” the statement said.

Speaking at a Geneva press briefing, U.N. Human Rights Office Spokesperson Jeremy Laurence appealed for calm, saying, “We call on the authorities to ensure the right to peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Kenyan Constitution and international human rights law.”

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