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 threatened to defy courts, sparking fears of manipulation of judiciary, while sporadic attacks by Al-Shabaab, cattle-rustlers and criminal groups continued.

Ruto’s criticism of judiciary sparked concerns about independence of courts. President Ruto 2 Jan accused unnamed judges of “corruption” and working with opposition to impede govt’s policies, suggesting govt could defy judges’ orders; courts had put govt’s plans to raise taxes for projects including universal health coverage and affordable housing on hold citing unconstitutionality. Bar association Law Society of Kenya 12 Jan held countrywide protests denouncing attempt to intimidate judges. Chief Justice Martha Koome and Ruto 22 Jan met in Nairobi in bid to prevent further escalation; opposition leader Raila Odinga called meeting “irresponsible” accusing executive of holding judiciary “hostage”.

Al-Shabaab continued attacks near Somali border. Al-Shabaab 4 Jan attacked Kenyan military base in El-Waq town, just across border in Somalia’s Gedo region. Roadside bomb 15 Jan injured five police officers in Lafey town, Mandera county. Suspected Al-Shabaab explosive device 18 Jan killed police officer and injured four others near Bula Hawa border crossing in Mandera county.

Deadly cattle rustling and banditry persisted. Unidentified assailants 5 Jan killed three people attempting to retrieve stolen livestock in Elgeyo-Marakwet county. Suspected banditry attacks in Baringo county 8 Jan left three people dead on road from Marigat town to Chemoe village, and around 13 Jan killed another two people in Natan village.

In other important developments. Court 26 Jan blocked govt plan to deploy police to Haiti to lead UN-backed multinational mission, saying it was “unconstitutional, illegal and invalid” due to lack of “reciprocal arrangement” between Kenya and Haiti; govt same day vowed to appeal decision. Ruto 30 Jan said he would sort “paperwork” to push ahead with deployment.

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2 Aug 2022
Nous sommes préoccupés par le temps que le Kenya pourra consacrer à la politique étrangère et à la médiation régionale s'il est accaparé par tant de dossiers au niveau na... VOA

Meron Elias

East and Southern Africa Analyst

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Meron Elias

East and Southern Africa Analyst
Meron Elias

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