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Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.

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Africa

Kenya

Al-Shabaab-related insecurity continued in north east while govt burnished international standing including through security mission to Haiti and President Ruto’s visit to U.S. 

Militant activity persisted in several areas. Notably, Al-Shabaab 10 May killed border police officer in attack in Garissa county’s Yumbis village near border with SomaliaMeanwhile, military 1 May said forces had killed six Al-Shabaab fighters during operation in Kumba area of Lamu; operation follows stepped-up troop deployment in late April to address insecurity amid reported increases in attacks in Garrissa, Lamu and Mandera counties in recent months.

Police mission to Haiti delayed again as Ruto visited U.S. As part of UN-mandated Nairobi-led multinational security force to combat gang violence in Haiti, high-level Kenyan delegation including mission commander 20 May arrived in Haitian capital Port-au-Prince to assess preparations for force arrival; Ruto 24 May said first batch of police would arrive in three weeks, in further delay to deployment amid reports of logistics issues (see Haiti). Meanwhile, Ruto 22-24 May took high-profile trip to Washington, marking first African state visit to U.S. in sixteen years, with Kenya being given Major Non-NATO Ally status, allowing govt increased access to defence cooperation with U.S. 

In another important development. Following severe floods that began in April that killed hundreds and exposed gaps in govt preparedness for natural disasters, residents decried forceful eviction of people living in settlements next to rivers in capital Nairobi as part of authorities’ evacuation orders.

Africa

Kenya

Al-Shabaab-related insecurity persisted, while police deployment to Haiti remained delayed.

Al-Shabaab militants remained threat in north east. Insurgents continued to stage attacks and ambushes, targeting civilians and security forces. Al-Shabaab militants 9 April attacked two vehicles travelling between Makowe and Garsen towns, Lamu county, killing civilian; suspected Al-Shabaab bomb 29 April killed at least five civilians and wounded five others in El Wak town, Mandera county. Meanwhile, amid Al-Shabaab cross-border attacks, Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo 2 April said in interview govt would not yet reopen border points with Somalia due to “challenge of insecurity”.

Multinational security mission to Haiti continued to face delays. Although govt continued to insist Nairobi would still lead mission, deployment remained on hold. President Ruto 13 April welcomed official establishment of transitional presidential council in Haiti (see Haiti), seen as crucial step to allow deploying of force, and 25 April said “Kenya stands ready and willing” to give security support. Eight Haitian private sector organisations 15 April sent letter to Ruto expressing concerns over delays to security mission.

In other important developments. Amid struggling economy, doctors’ strike over pay and training that began in March continued as medical union 4 April rejected govt’s offer; Ruto administration insisted it did not have funds to pay more. Meanwhile, military chief General Francis Ogolla killed with nine others in helicopter crash 18 April in North Rift region. Unclear circumstances behind crash led to speculation that incident may not have been accident, heightening political tensions.

Africa

Kenya

Al-Shabaab continued to drive insecurity, while police deployment to Haiti faced setbacks.

Al-Shabaab militants remained threat, particularly along porous Somalia border. Group of Al-Shabaab insurgents 2 March crossed border and attempted to establish temporary camp in Fafi area of Garissa county; security forces subsequently killed five and arrested four group members. Bomb at hotel 25 March killed at least two police officers and civilian in Mandera town. Meanwhile, court 7 March sentenced two Somali men, arrested in 2018 in possession of explosives and accused of planning to bomb key sites in capital Nairobi, to 25 years in prison. 

Nairobi-led multinational mission to Haiti faced delays. Escalation in Haiti (see Haiti) caused setback to govt’s deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police to lead UN-backed mission. After acting Haitian PM Ariel Henry resigned, Foreign Ministry Principal Secretary Korir Sing'Oei 12 March announced govt would wait until new administration is in place before deploying police; President Ruto next day, however, indicated Nairobi would still lead mission. Earlier, govt 1 March signed reciprocity agreement with Haiti in order to counter Jan-announced objection by Nairobi High Court.

Political tensions continued, including accusations govt curtailing freedoms. Busia County Senator Okiya Omtatah 22 March said “goons” attacked his vehicle with stones after he left court, but he escaped unharmed; senator had been prominent in holding govt accountable, including over housing levy; earlier, Ruto 19 March signed amended housing bill (that includes new tax) into law, bypassing court’s late Jan decision to suspend measures as unconstitutional amid continued executive-judiciary tensions. Meanwhile, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki 18 March said police would arrest anyone heckling political leaders, raising concerns over restrictions on political rights and free speech. 

Africa

Kenya

Govt discussed preparations for police deployment to Haiti while tensions between President Ruto and courts continued.

Govt continued preparations for police deployment to Haiti. After court late Jan blocked deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police to lead UN-backed multinational mission in Haiti, U.S. 2 Feb reiterated “commitment to collaborating with Kenya” as it leads mission. Kenyan, Haitian and U.S. officials 12-14 Feb met in U.S. to discuss preparations, and Haiti 14 Feb said it was working on reciprocal agreement with Kenya, main point of Kenyan court’s opposition. Haiti’s acting PM Ariel Henry 29 Feb visited Kenya and met with Ruto to “finalise modalities” for agreements between two countries on deployment.

Tensions between judiciary and executive persisted. Following Court of Appeals late Jan decision to suspend govt tax that President Ruto said he would appeal, concerns grew that current administration would threaten judiciary’s independence and ignore court ruling related to Kenyan police deployment to Haiti.

Authorities continued to combat Al-Shabaab, banditry-related violence. Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki 15 Feb said govt would begin upgrading security equipment and give priority to forces in unstable areas, including locations vulnerable to Al-Shabaab attacks near Somalia border and North Rift regions subject to banditry.

Africa

Kenya

President Ruto threatened to defy courts, sparking fears of manipulation of judiciary, while sporadic attacks by Al-Shabaab, cattle-rustlers and criminal groups continued.

Ruto’s criticism of judiciary sparked concerns about independence of courts. President Ruto 2 Jan accused unnamed judges of “corruption” and working with opposition to impede govt’s policies, suggesting govt could defy judges’ orders; courts had put govt’s plans to raise taxes for projects including universal health coverage and affordable housing on hold citing unconstitutionality. Bar association Law Society of Kenya 12 Jan held countrywide protests denouncing attempt to intimidate judges. Chief Justice Martha Koome and Ruto 22 Jan met in Nairobi in bid to prevent further escalation; opposition leader Raila Odinga called meeting “irresponsible” accusing executive of holding judiciary “hostage”.

Al-Shabaab continued attacks near Somali border. Al-Shabaab 4 Jan attacked Kenyan military base in El-Waq town, just across border in Somalia’s Gedo region. Roadside bomb 15 Jan injured five police officers in Lafey town, Mandera county. Suspected Al-Shabaab explosive device 18 Jan killed police officer and injured four others near Bula Hawa border crossing in Mandera county.

Deadly cattle rustling and banditry persisted. Unidentified assailants 5 Jan killed three people attempting to retrieve stolen livestock in Elgeyo-Marakwet county. Suspected banditry attacks in Baringo county 8 Jan left three people dead on road from Marigat town to Chemoe village, and around 13 Jan killed another two people in Natan village.

In other important developments. Court 26 Jan blocked govt plan to deploy police to Haiti to lead UN-backed multinational mission, saying it was “unconstitutional, illegal and invalid” due to lack of “reciprocal arrangement” between Kenya and Haiti; govt same day vowed to appeal decision. Ruto 30 Jan said he would sort “paperwork” to push ahead with deployment.

Africa

Kenya

Cost of living crisis remained centre stage; Al-Shabaab and cattle-related violence persisted.

Govt struggled with cost of living crisis, bribery allegations. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndun’gu 6 Dec admitted govt has been unable to pay public servants for five months. During independence celebrations, President Ruto 12 Dec acknowledged cost of living crisis but said tough fiscal policies were necessary and helped stabilise economy. Opposition leader Raila Odinga 31 Dec warned of new wave of demonstrations if Finance Act of 2023 is not repealed. Meanwhile, allegations mid-month surfaced in local media that Odinga received $30mn from President Ruto to stop anti-govt protests.

Al-Shabaab and cattle-related attacks continued. Al-Shabaab 2 Dec attacked police station in Hagadera refugee camp, Garissa County, injuring one; 15 Dec detonated explosive device on govt vehicle travelling on Dabaab-Garissa road, killing four. Meanwhile, gunmen 5 Dec attacked herders in Kangeta settlement, Meru County, killing one; herders retaliated killing one. Local residents 9 Dec killed three suspected cattle rustlers in Isiolo County, and police next day killed two cattle raiders in Kapturo village, Baringo County. Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki 28 Dec announced extension of Operation Maliza Uhalifu, launched in early 2023 in Rift Valley, to other banditry-prone areas in Meru, Isiolo and Marsabit counties.

Nairobi withdrew troops from DR Congo, prepared for deployment to Haiti. Kenyan-led East African Community regional force 21 Dec completed withdrawal from eastern DR Congo as force’s mandate expired. Nairobi prepared for deployment of police officers to lead UN-backed multinational force in Haiti despite High Court temporarily blocking deployment: Kenyan delegation 5-7 Dec visited Haiti, and Kenyan police chief Japhet Koome 14 Dec received Haitian police chief in capital Nairobi.

Africa

Kenya

Bipartisan talks produced report calling for reform to electoral commission and audit of last presidential elections; court extended suspension of police deployment to Haiti.

National Dialogue Committee (NDC) published final report. NDC, platform for bipartisan talks between governing Kenya Kwanza alliance and opposition Azimio la Umoja coalition on conduct of last year’s elections and other issues, 25 Nov published report calling for “restructuring and reconstitution” of electoral commission, audit of last presidential election and urged govt to review tax policy, rationalise public expenditure and expand social protection to reduce cost of living. President Ruto next day welcomed budget cut recommendations as “practical”. Meanwhile, High Court 28 Nov ruled that salary levy introduced by Ruto in June was illegal, dealing a blow to govt’s efforts to increase tax revenue; Azimio leader Kalonzo Musyoka same day welcomed “win for Azimio”.

Violent incidents continued, notably Al-Shabaab attacks near Somalia border. Suspected al-Shabaab combatants 25 Nov raided Marafa and Poromoko villages, Lamu county, killing one; 28 Nov attacked police post in Garissa county, injuring one officer. Meanwhile, suspected cattle rustlers from Turkana county same day raided Lochacha village, West Pokot county; resulting clashes killed six.

Parliament approved police deployment to Haiti, court extended suspension. Parliament 16 Nov approved police deployment as part of UN-backed mission to Haiti. High Court same day extended order to suspend deployment until 26 Jan 2024 pending ruling on petition questioning constitutionality of deployment.

In another important development. Authorities 28 Nov said flooding linked to weather phenomenon El Niño killed 120 people and displaced tens of thousands since Oct.

Africa

Kenya

Parliament extended bipartisan talks between govt and opposition, border dispute between Kericho and Kisumu counties turned deadly, and court paused police deployment to Haiti.

President Ruto reshuffled cabinet, parliament extended bipartisan talks. Ruto 4 Oct replaced eight cabinet ministers, notably moving FM Alfred Mutua to Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, adding foreign affairs ministry to Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s portfolio. National Assembly 17 Oct approved 30-day extension of bipartisan talks between govt and opposition, giving National Dialogue Committee until 28 Nov to submit report.

Intercommunal clashes flared on Kericho-Kisumu border. Armed individuals from Kericho county 4 Oct reportedly raided East Kadiang’a location near disputed Sondu town in Kisumu county, killing seven and allegedly targeting hospital; govt 5 Oct announced deployment of special police units to area to contain violence.

Al-Shabaab continued operations in eastern counties bordering Somalia. In Garissa county, two Al-Shabaab fighters 3 Oct died while attempting to set up explosive device in Amuma area; security forces in second half of Oct destroyed at least two Al-Shabaab logistics bases in Fafi constituency, where police 17 and 30 Oct Oct killed at least five al-Shabaab militants; explosive device 30 Oct killed two security officers near Dadaab town. U.S. embassy in Kenya 13 Oct issued security alert, warning of “potentially imminent [terrorist] attacks” in capital Nairobi and elsewhere.

Court temporarily suspended police deployment to Haiti. UN Security Council 2 Oct approved deployment of Kenyan-led multinational police force to combat gang violence in Haiti; Nairobi volunteered to lead international force in Haiti as part of Ruto’s efforts to signal Kenya is reliable foreign affairs partner. However, High Court 9 Oct temporarily suspended deployment, and 24 Oct extended suspension until 9 Nov pending decision on opposition’s petition citing concerns over constitutionality of deploying police officers abroad.

Africa

Kenya

Govt and opposition made progress toward resolving differences, Al-Shabaab continued deadly attacks, while cattle and banditry-related violence persisted.

Bipartisan talks between govt and opposition inched forward. After signing framework agreement defining dialogue’s agenda in late Aug, National Dialogue Committee led by Kalonzo Musyoka, representing opposition Azimio la Umoja coalition, and Kimani Ichung’wah, National Assembly Majority Leader representing ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition, from 11 Sept onward received submissions from civil society groups and political parties on agenda. Meanwhile, cost of living continued to cause discontent; notably, opposition leader Raila Odinga around 15 Sept criticized govt policies following new increase in fuel price.

Al-Shabaab attacks continued along Somali border. Explosive devices allegedly planted by Al-Shabaab 3 Sept killed two policemen and injured others in Arabia area of Mandera county, 10 Sept injured several soldiers in Boni Forest, Lamu county, and 16 Sept killed four civilian and injured others along Mandera-Elwak road in Mandera county. Security forces 13 Sept reported killing five al-Shabaab combatants in Garissa county. Meanwhile, Kenya and U.S. 25 Sept signed defence cooperation agreement to counter Al-Shabaab and collaborate on domestic and international security efforts.

Western county reported rise in cattle rustling and banditry incidents. Governor of Elgeyo-Marakwet county early Sept reported increase in armed attacks after several months of relative calm amid joint military-police operation in Elgeyo-Marakwet, Baringo, and West Pokot counties. Notably, unidentified armed men 3 Sept killed two people in border area between Elgeyo-Marakwet and West Pokot counties. Meanwhile, West Pokot Senator, Julius Murgor, 11 Sept announced Pokot community leaders will travel to Uganda to negotiate grazing access for Pokot herdsmen and release of 4,000 cattle seized early Sept by Ugandan authorities.

Africa

Kenya

Govt and opposition returned to negotiating table, but mutual distrust persisted; Al-Shabaab continued to step up attacks near Somalia border.

Govt and opposition resumed talks to bridge differences. Ruling Kenya Kwanza alliance led by President Ruto and Raila Odinga’s opposition Azimio la Umoja coalition 9 Aug agreed to resume bipartisan talks to tackle disagreements on raft of issues, including high cost of living and results of 2022 elections. Bipartisan dialogue committee 21 Aug met and 30 Aug signed framework agreement for dialogue, agreeing to report to respective leaders on five major issues within 60 days. Hard-line politicians from both sides and sour personal relations however risk derailing talks; notably, Deputy President of Kenya Rigathi Gachagua 22 Aug dismissed bipartisan talks as “waste of time”. Meanwhile, energy regulator 14 Aug said govt reinstated limited subsidy to stabilise fuel price for 30 days; along with tax hikes, govt’s removal of fuel and maize subsidies has sparked public anger and protests in recent months.

Al-Shabaab staged multiple attacks in Lamu county near Somalia. Al-Shabaab 1 Aug ambushed and killed two people in Mwembeni area on Lamu-Witu-Garsen road near Lamu-Tana River county border; security forces next day reported killing 60 Al-Shabaab militants in response to series of ambushes in area. Al-Shabaab 10 Aug killed three soldiers near Kiunga town, 15 Aug launched two separate attacks on civilian vehicles near Koreni and Bargoni localities, leaving at least two dead, and 22 Aug killed two civilians in ambush near Lango La Simba area on Lamu-Witu-Garsen road.

Cattle-related violence erupted along Kisumu-Kericho border. Tensions over suspected cattle rustling 19 Aug turned into clashes in Nyakach sub-county along border between Kisumu and Kericho counties; at least two killed and eight injured.

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