Kenya

Ten years after a disputed presidential poll brought Kenya to the brink of civil war, the August 2017 general election was won comfortably by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Although reforms introduced in the 2010 constitution have helped avert large-scale fighting, sporadic outbreaks of violence followed claims by opposition leader Raila Odinga that results had been manipulated. Ethnic divisions continue to be a key driver of electoral violence in Kenya and must be addressed by the government through reforms aimed at a more inclusive democracy. By engaging relevant actors and carrying out field-based research, we work at the national and local levels to build sustainable peace and to help advance reforms that can consolidate democratic gains.

CrisisWatch Kenya

Unchanged Situation

President Ruto suspended election commissioners who rejected his electoral victory as president, and Al-Shabaab carried out deadly attacks near Somalia border.

President Ruto suspended several election commissioners. Ruto 2 Dec ordered suspension and investigation of four commissioners of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) who had refused to endorse his win in August presidential election, accusing them of trying to subvert election results in favour of runner-up Raila Odinga; Odinga same day condemned suspensions, saying move aimed to skew IEBC in favour of Ruto. Three commissioners facing dismissal resigned in following days, avoiding investigation into past conduct, while tribunal 20 Dec commenced hearings to consider petition for removal of fourth one.

Al-Shabaab launched deadly attacks near Somalia border. Suspected Al-Shabaab militants 11 Dec killed two civilians in ambush between Jabibar and Bambo villages in Mandera county. Al-Shabaab militants 21 Dec attacked police vehicle between Hayley Lapsset security camp and Garissa town in Garissa county, killing two officers and one civilian. In Lamu county, suspected Al-Shabaab militants overnight 24-25 Dec killed two villagers in Pandaguo area; bomb blast 30 Dec killed one soldier and injured at least four others in Mlima Faru area. Amid Somali offensive against Al-Shabaab in neighbouring Somalia, local media 10 Dec reported that additional security forces had deployed to border in anticipation of influx of militants.

In other important developments. In Meru county (important Ruto stronghold in Mount Kenya region), members of county assembly 14 Dec voted to impeach Governor Kawira Mwangaza over nepotism and other accusations; Senate committee 30 Dec rejected impeachment, said allegations not proven. Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings 14 Dec downgraded Kenya’s credit rating from B+ to B, due to high debt and diminishing foreign currency reserves.

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In The News

9 Aug 2022
Post-conflict societies rarely earn the right lessons, but I think Kenya did. It adopted a new constitution with a relatively independent judiciary that led to a more con... New York Times

Murithi Mutiga

Program Director, Africa
13 Jun 2022
Kenya is one of the few countries [in Africa] where you go into an election without knowing who is going to win. Financial Times

Murithi Mutiga

Program Director, Africa
14 Dec 2021
If [Kenyan President] Kenyatta can achieve a ceasefire that potentially stops a catastrophic confrontation among warring actors in Ethiopia, that would give him quite an ... The New Statesman

Murithi Mutiga

Program Director, Africa
16 Jun 2020
Northern Kenya is increasingly looking like an area that al-Shabab seeks to incorporate under its rule rather than just using it as a rear base. The New Humanitarian

Omar Mahmood

Senior Analyst, Eastern Africa
15 Mar 2018
When [Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga] has a seat at the table, you expect that there will be less inclination to behave irresponsibly and to close down the democr... World Politics Review

Murithi Mutiga

Program Director, Africa
9 Mar 2018
It is vital that [Kenya’s President Kenyatta and opposition leader Odinga] invest heavily in ensuring that a more lasting settlement emerges from their talks. Reuters

Murithi Mutiga

Program Director, Africa

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