icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube

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

Amid ongoing political tensions, electoral commission cleared main presidential candidates ahead of August vote, and authorities took new steps to tackle insecurity in several regions. Electoral commission 6 June cleared Deputy President William Ruto, veteran politician Raila Odinga and two other candidates to run for president in election set for 9 August. As recent polls put Odinga slightly ahead in presidential race, Ruto 2 June withdrew from presidential debate planned for July, citing media bias, and 12 June announced he would retire from politics if defeated in election. Political mobilisation again turned violent. Police and youth 19 June clashed during Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) rally in capital Nairobi, leaving at least two injured. Police 23 June fired teargas to break up clashes between rival factions at Odinga’s rally in Marsabit county. Electoral commission 8 June announced it would remove 1.18mn names (out of 22.5mn) from electoral lists after audit found anomalies in voters’ database. Suspected Al-Shabaab militants 1 and 5 June attacked security forces in Garissa county, injuring at least five officers; around 20 June destroyed communications equipment in Mandera county, prompting authorities to beef up security in area. Amid tensions in Marsabit county between rival pastoral communities over resources and land, compounded by prolonged drought, authorities 6 June said security forces have recovered over 200 guns and 3,000 bullets in county since disarmament operation began in May; curfew in Marsabit extended through 30 June. Violence persisted along border between Wajir and Isiolo counties; notably, cattle raiders 18 June reportedly killed four in Merti sub-county, Isiolo. Govt early June imposed 30-day curfew in parts of Elgeyo-Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot counties in west in effort to tackle banditry and intercommunal violence. President Kenyatta 9 June attended Somali President Mohamud’s inauguration in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu; counterparts next day reached preliminary agreement to lift Somalia’s ban on khat imports from Kenya.

Continue reading

Reports & Briefings

In The News

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 extraordinary win. 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 democratic space. 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 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

Program Director, Africa

Latest Updates

Podcast / Africa

The Court Ruling That Just Upended Kenyan Politics

This week on The Horn, Alan Boswell is joined by Willy Mutunga, former Chief Justice of Kenya, to discuss the court ruling against the president’s major push to change the Kenyan constitution, the independence of the judiciary system and Kenya’s upcoming elections.

Briefing / Africa

How to Shield Education from Al-Shabaab in Kenya’s North East

Al-Shabaab is targeting teachers in order to expel those it views as outsiders from majority-Muslim north-eastern Kenya. The government’s response – to evacuate non-native tutors – has shuttered the area’s schools. Nairobi should supply funds to hire local educators, while it works to restore security.

Briefing / Africa

Ending the Dangerous Standoff in Southern Somalia

Firefights have broken out between federal Somali soldiers and troops from the Jubaland region. A heightened confrontation could embolden Al-Shabaab’s Islamist insurgency. The African Union should press Ethiopia and Kenya, which back Mogadishu and Kismayo, respectively, to coax the two sides into negotiations.

Podcast / Africa

The Political Fallout of the Pandemic

The Horn of Africa faces myriad crises. Beyond the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on politics and the economy, the region is grappling with deeply troubled transitions, cross-border jihadism and remains a playground for great power competition. This week on The Horn, Host Alan Boswell joins five Crisis Group analysts to analyse the pandemic's political and economic implications.

Podcast / Africa

The Horn: Kenya and Somalia Quarrel Over Offshore Oil

The Horn of Africa faces myriad crises. Beyond the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on politics and the economy, the region is grappling with deeply troubled transitions, cross-border jihadism and remains a playground for great power competition. In this episode, Alan Boswell is joined by Rashid Abdi, Consultant and former Horn of Africa Director at Crisis Group, to discuss Kenya and Somalia's fight over their shared maritime border.