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

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).

Continue reading

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

Latest Updates

Our People

Meron Elias

East and Southern Africa Analyst
Meron Elias

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.