Six new coastal counties created by Kenya’s 2010 constitution have replicated the closely-held patronage politics of the former Coast province, adding to inefficiencies, costs and mutual suspicions. To maximise the potential of devolution – and prevent militants like Al-Shabaab exploiting popular disappointment – Nairobi and the new counties need to become more cooperative, open to dialogue, and inclusive, especially toward marginalised youth.
01 July 2016
Police 6 June fired on opposition supporters protesting in western Nyanza region against Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for alleged pro-govt bias, killing at least two. Al-Sh ...
Clan politics, poor services, growing corruption and disarray in the security forces are undermining Kenya’s newly formed north-eastern counties, allowing the violently extremist Al-Shabaab movement to infiltrate over the border from Somalia. To build security and capitalise on devolution’s potential, national government and county elites alike must become more pragmatic and inclusive.
One year after the Westgate attack, Al-Shabaab has become more entrenched and active in Kenya. Meanwhile, the country’s immediate post-Westgate unity has broken down in the face of increasing attacks, and the political elites, security services, and ethnic and faith communities are beset by mutual suspicion and recriminations.
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.
Kenya: Tensions after the ICC Ruling
9 Feb 2012: Two weeks after the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed that four prominent Kenyan figures, including two presidential candidates, are to stand trial over crimes against humanity, political emotions in the country are running high.
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