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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

Violence flared up in centre, while political jockeying continued ahead of 2022 general elections. Herder-farmer clashes early Sept left at least ten dead in Laikipia county; police 6 Sept launched operation in area, 8 Sept arrested four gunmen and two MPs over allegation of inciting violence. Police 13 Sept said violence had subsided; however, herders and farmers continued to clash notably in Rumuruti town 15 Sept. Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i 14 Sept said authorities would grant amnesty to civilians laying down their weapons before month’s end. In Marsabit county (north), violent incidents related to banditry, inter-clan feuding and political intrigues continued, leaving two dead in Loiyangalani area 26 Sept. Meanwhile, One Kenya Alliance (OKA), coalition formed in March by President Kenyatta with four opposition parties, 22 Sept said it would announce its presidential candidate for 2022 general elections in Oct. Following court rulings in May and Aug that controversial attempt by Kenyatta and his de facto ally, opposition leader Raila Odinga, to amend constitution was illegal, Deputy President William Ruto 17 Sept accused MPs aligned with Kenyatta and Odinga of attempting to push through new constitutional amendments. Authorities 14 Sept said they would next day end fuel subsidies to ease economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic, prompting gasoline price to jump to highest level in a decade; many Kenyans in following days criticised decision on social media, discussed whether they should take to streets. Energy Minister Charles Keter and Petroleum and Mining Minister John Munyes 21 Sept failed to answer summons by Senate’s Energy Committee over price hike, drawing condemnation committee members who proposed to take up matter to Senate plenary.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

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, Somalia
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 democratic space. World Politics Review

Murithi Mutiga

Project Director, Horn of 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 pursuing their own agendas. Reuters

EJ Hogendoorn

Former Deputy 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

Project Director, Horn of Africa
2 Feb 2018
While we were hoping that [Kenya], after a bruising election season, could pull together, that seems a lost hope. The Wall Street Journal

Murithi Mutiga

Project Director, Horn of Africa
30 Jan 2018
[Kenya's President] Kenyatta, by resisting all attempts at dialogue, has put himself in a position where he will continue to struggle to be seen as the president of all Kenyans. Reuters

Murithi Mutiga

Project Director, Horn of Africa

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