Auma Obama, Barack Obama

Barack Obama's Half-sister Auma Hit With Tear Gas While Protesting Controversial Bill In Kenya

Home / News / Barack Obama's Half-sister Auma Hit With Tear Gas While Protesting Controversial Bill In Kenya

By Favour Adegoke on June 25, 2024 at 5:15 PM EDT

Auma Obama, a Kenyan activist and half-sister to former US President Barack Obama, was recently tear-gassed in Nairobi while protesting the new Kenyan Finance bill.

The bill will introduce several new taxes that would raise the prices of sanitary items, like nappies and pads, and generally make things more challenging for the citizens.

Auma has discussed the significant unemployment problem in Kenya and called on the government to help the youth.

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Barack Obama's Half-Sister, Auma Obama, Was Tear-gassed At A Protest In Kenya

Barack Obama

Auma was recently shown on CNN reeling from the pain of being tear-gassed at a protest in Nairobi.

The half-sister of Ex-Presdient Obama and her daughter were among the thousands of protesters who police opened fire on while protesting against the country's new finance bill.

In the video, Auma was seen rubbing her eyes with a cloth after being hit with tear gas and speaking with CNN reporter Larry Madowo.

Auma said, "I can't believe that these young people are just trying to demonstrate for their rights; I came to join them. We are being tear-gassed. We have flags and banners, nothing else; these people have nothing else."

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She further questioned the Kenyan authorities, asking how they could "tear-gas your own people." She added, "Listen to them. Listen to these children; they are the future… please listen to these young people."

According to the Independent, Auma was also crouched on the ground to avoid being hit in the chaotic scene as protestors fled and lay on the ground. A number of people were left dead, and many more were injured in the aftermath.

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The Protest Is Against The New Finance Bill

Auma and the many protesters were demonstrating against Kenya's newly passed controversial Finance bill. The bill aims to introduce several new taxes, with an eco-levy that would raise the price of goods like period products and nappies.

The Kenyan parliament previously considered imposing a tax on bread, but it was scrapped after a massive public outcry.

The bill is meant to raise an additional $2.7bn in taxes as the Kenyan government is trying to lighten its heavy debt load.

The country's interest payments alone currently consume about 37 percent of its annual revenue, which is a huge burden for a developing country like Kenya.

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Auma Obama Called On Kenyan Authorities To Help The Youth

In the video, Auma further spoke about how Kenya has a youthful population with huge potential. According to statistics recorded by Kenya's National Council for Population and Development in 2017, about 80% of the country's population is aged 35 years and below,

Auma also discussed the significant unemployment problem affecting Kenya's growth. She said that the large youth population has "no jobs," which makes the new bill that taxes "the jobless" an insensitive move by the government.

"That is why I am here; I am here to tell them I support them," she said, per the Independent. Auma then called on the Kenyan government again to listen to its youth and create more jobs so the country can improve.

Auma Obama Runs Her Own Foundation

Barack Obama's half-sister Auma Obama

In addition to being an activist, Auma has run her own foundation, Sauti Kuu, since 2010.

According to the website, the foundation works to help disadvantaged youth in Kenya gain access to life-changing opportunities that will set them up for independence.

Sauti Kuu has completed many projects, such as launching a vocation center in 2018. At the time, Auma's half-brother Obama visited Kenya for two days to support her at the launch.

Auma was born and raised in Kenya and returned to the country after some time in the United Kingdom to start humanitarian work.

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Barack Obama Says His Daughter's Won't Have A Political Career

Barack Obama speaks during the closing session of the 2019 Obama Foundation Summit meeting

Despite being a former president, Obama does not intend for his daughters to join politics.

During a fundraiser for Joe Biden, Jimmy Kimmel, the host of the event, asked Obama if his daughters, Malia and Sasha, would make better leaders of the United States.

Responding to the question, the former president noted that they're not interested in following in his footsteps and will "never" be president.

"That is a question I do not need to answer because Michelle drilled into them so early that you would be crazy to go into politics," Obama answered, per People magazine. "It'll never happen."

"They're powerful young women," Biden added of Obama's girls.

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