Though the 2013 general elections were relatively peaceful, Kenya is still deeply divided and ethnically polarised.
Preparations for elections in Kenya turn into high gear today as the parties in the three major coalitions nominate their candidates.
As Kenya advances into southern Somalia, it must act cautiously and avoid prolonged “occupation”, lest it turn local opinion against the operation and galvanise opposition Al-Shabaab can co-opt, much as happened to Ethiopia in 2006-2009.
Kenya’s proximity to and troubled relationship with Somalia and the militant Al-Shabaab movement threaten its security and stability, necessitating sound strategies to combat Islamist radicalisation that go beyond counter-terrorism.
While the International Criminal Court (ICC) has a chance to inaugurate a new era of accountability in Kenya, misperceptions could also amplify ethnic tensions ahead of the 2012 elections if its work and limitations are not better explained to the public.
Since the announcement of the contested presidential election results on 30 December 2007 giving a second term to Mwai Kibaki, Kenya has been in its worst political crisis since independence.