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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

Political jockeying continued ahead of 2022 general election, and diplomatic engagement with Somalia deepened further. Tensions between Deputy President William Ruto and President Kenyatta persisted ahead of general elections. Notably, Kenyatta 23 Aug asked Ruto to do “the honourable thing” and resign, accusing him of claiming credit for govt action and at the same time criticising it; Ruto next day dismissed call. Opposition leader Raila Odinga, Kenyatta’s de facto ally, 27 Aug reiterated call on Ruto to be “principled” and resign. Earlier in month, immigration officers 2 Aug prevented Ruto from travelling to Uganda, which he said was attempt by ruling Jubilee Party and govt to humiliate him; interior ministry 5 Aug denied any involvement. Amid infighting, One Kenya Alliance (OKA), formed by Kenyatta in March with four opposition parties, 17 Aug failed to agree on common presidential candidate for 2022 election and ruled out solely supporting Odinga. Court of Appeal 20 Aug upheld High Court’s ruling in May that attempt by Kenyatta and Odinga to amend constitution was illegal. In Mombasa county in south, police 11 Aug detained three individuals on suspicion of being members of terrorist group with networks in Uganda, Kenya, Somalia and Egypt. Following months-long tensions, Kenya and Somalia 8 Aug agreed to strengthen trade, security and diplomatic ties and 10 Aug to “reset relations”.
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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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