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.
Climate change, politics and resource competition are colliding again in a deadly combination on Kenya’s fertile Laikipia plateau. Crisis Group visited the region and talked with herders and farmers about the devastating drought, the loss of cattle, the violence in the area and intercommunal tensions.
Govt and opposition traded accusations of misconduct during August elections, while Al-Shabaab and cattle rustlers carried out deadly attacks.
Govt and opposition argued over presidential election results. President Ruto 17 Jan made unsubstantiated allegation of plot to assassinate electoral commission’s former Chairman Wafula Chebukati for allegedly refusing to rig Aug 2022 presidential election in favour of opposition leader Raila Odinga. At opposition coalition Azimio la Umoja rally gathering thousands in capital Nairobi, Odinga 23 Jan urged supporters to “resist” Ruto’s govt, calling it “illegitimate” and demanding its resignation.
Al-Shabaab launched new attacks in east along border with Somalia. In Garissa county, explosive device likely planted by Al-Shabaab combatants 11 Jan killed four road workers between Garissa and Bura towns, while security forces 18 Jan killed ten suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Galmagalla village.
Deadly cattle raids continued in drought-affected north west. Unidentified gunmen 1 Jan killed two girls and stole 70 heads of cattle in Kotut village, Elgeyo-Marakwet county; another cattle raid 12 Jan reportedly left eight people dead in Laisamis town, Marsabit county.
Nairobi’s efforts at regional diplomacy continued. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and President Ruto 9, 10 Jan respectively met Vice-Chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti” in Nairobi, reportedly to discuss Sudan’s possible reintegration into African Union among other matters (see Sudan). Representatives of M23 rebel group 12 Jan met East African Community facilitator for peace process in eastern DR Congo (DRC), Uhuru Kenyatta, in Kenya’s Mombasa city, reiterated readiness to withdraw from captured territory in DRC’s North Kivu province and adhere to ceasefire (see DR Congo).
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...
Kenya is one of the few countries [in Africa] where you go into an election without knowing who is going to win.
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 ...
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.
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...
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.
On 5 September, Kenya’s Supreme Court upheld Deputy President William Ruto’s victory in the 9 August presidential election. The decision concludes a hard-fought electoral campaign that, despite high stakes, was peaceful and transparent, showing the strength of the country’s institutions.
This week on The Horn, Alan is joined by Murithi Mutiga, Crisis Group’s Africa program director, to discuss the outcome of Kenya’s closely fought, high-stakes election.
Kenya’s highly anticipated vote featuring two political heavyweights, Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto, is likely to be closely fought. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Meron Elias outlines what is at stake.
A historic drought in Kenya is coinciding with a hotly contested election. Nerves in central and northern Kenya are fraying, as climate stresses intensify intercommunal conflict and amplify electoral tensions.
In a three-part special episode of The Horn, Alan speaks to three Crisis Group experts across the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes regions. He talks with William Davison about the prospects for peace talks in Ethiopia, to Nelleke van de Walle about Kenya’s new diplomatic efforts in the eastern DR Congo, and to Nazanine Moshiri about the drought devastating the Horn region.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to expert Murithi Mutiga about Kenya’s August election, as Deputy President William Ruto faces off against opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is now backed by Ruto’s former ally, President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a country where bloodshed after previous disputed votes still casts a long shadow.
The 9 August presidential vote in Kenya pits the incumbent’s favourite against a populist challenger. It will be hard-fought. To avert the violence that has marred past contests, the two candidates should pledge to resolve any dispute in court. External actors can also help.
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