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.
A series of failed rainy seasons in northern Kenya has sharpened competition among herders, farmers and conservancy owners for land and water, often resulting in bloodshed. Authorities should redouble aid to hard-hit areas and, with donor support, look for ways to encourage sharing of resources.
President Ruto enacted new finance bill, adding to tensions with opposition; under pressure in Somalia, Al-Shabaab stepped up incursions into Kenya.
President signed controversial finance bill into law despite opposition. Police 6 June fired teargas to disperse hundreds of people demonstrated against proposed Finance Bill 2023 in capital Nairobi. Lawmakers 21 June approved bill, which doubles fuel tax and introduces new housing levy, and Ruto 26 June signed it into law. Move added to tensions between govt and opposition. In protest, opposition leader Raila Odinga 27 June called for tax boycott and vowed to hold street protests from 7 July; Odinga’s coalition Azimio la Umoja same day also announced leaving bi-partisan talks with govt on selection of election commissioners. High Court 30 June suspended implementation of Finance Act 2023 pending hearing and determination of lawsuit sponsored by opposition senator.
Al-Shabaab attacks spiked along Somali border. As offensive against Al-Shabaab continued in Somalia, group 2 June reportedly attacked police vehicle with rocket-propelled grenade along Lelele-Takaba road in Mandera county, killing two officers and injuring five others. Al-Shabaab claimed explosive device attack 7 June killed four soldiers on Mararani-Kiunga road in Lamu county, while another explosive device attack 13 June reportedly killed eight police officers near Bodhei town along Lamu-Garissa county border. Suspected Al-Shabaab militants 24 June killed five civilians in Juhudi and Salama villages in Lamu county, raising death toll in such cross-border attacks to at least 30 in past month.
Violence over cattle and land resources continued in north. Suspected cattle raiders 3 June injured two people in Kamurion village along West Pokot-Turkana county border; 9 June attacked Lolmolog village in Samburu county, injuring four and stealing hundreds of cattle. Attacks also increased in Meru County, possibly reflecting security operations’ success in pushing raiders south. Notably, armed men likely coming from Samburu 12-13 June attacked Njaruine village, killing five and stealing over 100 cattle.
Nous sommes préoccupés par le temps que le Kenya pourra consacrer à la politique étrangère et à la médiation régionale s'il est accaparé par tant de dossiers au niveau na...
Climate change, politics and resource competition are colliding again in a deadly combination on Kenya’s fertile Laikipia plateau. Crisis Group visited the region and talked with herders and farmers about the devastating drought, the loss of cattle, the violence in the area and intercommunal tensions.
On 5 September, Kenya’s Supreme Court upheld Deputy President William Ruto’s victory in the 9 August presidential election. The decision concludes a hard-fought electoral campaign that, despite high stakes, was peaceful and transparent, showing the strength of the country’s institutions.
This week on The Horn, Alan is joined by Murithi Mutiga, Crisis Group’s Africa program director, to discuss the outcome of Kenya’s closely fought, high-stakes election.
Kenya’s highly anticipated vote featuring two political heavyweights, Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto, is likely to be closely fought. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Meron Elias outlines what is at stake.
A historic drought in Kenya is coinciding with a hotly contested election. Nerves in central and northern Kenya are fraying, as climate stresses intensify intercommunal conflict and amplify electoral tensions.
In a three-part special episode of The Horn, Alan speaks to three Crisis Group experts across the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes regions. He talks with William Davison about the prospects for peace talks in Ethiopia, to Nelleke van de Walle about Kenya’s new diplomatic efforts in the eastern DR Congo, and to Nazanine Moshiri about the drought devastating the Horn region.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to expert Murithi Mutiga about Kenya’s August election, as Deputy President William Ruto faces off against opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is now backed by Ruto’s former ally, President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a country where bloodshed after previous disputed votes still casts a long shadow.
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