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

Deputy President William Ruto declared president-elect as runner-up Raila Odinga submitted challenge to court. Kenyans 9 Aug voted in mostly peaceful general elections. Police however reported ten incidents on election day. Most notably, Kimilili MP shot and killed aide of rival candidate at polling station in Bungoma county, and unidentified assailants attacked police vehicle carrying election material in Wajir county, leaving two injured. Gunmen also held several people hostage in tallying centre in Wajir, injuring one. Electoral commission agent, who went missing 11 Aug, found dead 15 Aug just outside capital Nairobi. Election was marked by unusually low voter turnout at 65%; election observation missions, including from East African Community, in following days lauded polls as largely free and fair. Electoral commission 15 Aug declared Deputy President and leader of United Democratic Alliance William Ruto president-elect with 50.49% of votes, ahead of Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga with 48.85%. Four of seven electoral commissioners, including Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera, same day disowned results alleging “opaque” tallying process, while some protests erupted in Odinga strongholds, notably Kisumu city and Nairobi’s Kibera neighbourhood, with angry supporters throwing stones and blocking roads. Odinga 16 Aug rejected result and announced he would pursue “all legal options” to challenge it; 22 Aug filed petition at Supreme Court, and in following days said he will respect court’s ruling, expected by 5 Sept. Elections in eight electoral areas, including gubernatorial races in Mombasa and Kakamega, held 29 Aug after being suspended due to ballot mix-ups on 9 Aug. Meanwhile, police 1 Aug killed four armed robbers in Lokwar village, Turkana county, after they allegedly attacked village in attempt to steal cattle. Suspected Al-Shabaab militants 4 Aug reportedly injured five police officers at Bamba Ola area in Mandera county. Al-Shabaab 27 Aug issued threat against Kenya saying it would continue attacks until Kenyan troops leave Somalia.

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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
The U.S. is no longer the dominant external actor in Africa, and must compete for influence not only with China, but a host of other, increasingly assertive, states pursu... Reuters
EJ Hogendoorn

EJ Hogendoorn

Former Deputy Program Director, Africa

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