Featured Publications & Tools
Since the election in December 2007, Kenya has witnessed an unprecedented degree of postelection violence that has produced large numbers of victims, including hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs). This persistent insecurity linked to mobilized youth, local impunity, and the failure of the police and legal system makes resettlement and reintegration of the displaced dangerous.
This briefing by Sheila Mwiandi explores various dimensions of Kenya's post-election IDP problems, including elections-related issues prior to 2008, challenges to relocating IDPs and strategies for improving the situation.
After botched elections, what are the strengths and weaknesses of Kenya’s recent National Accord? Will the deal hold up? What are the costs of withdrawing from the coalition government?
Dorina Bekoe and Jacki Wilson discuss the renewed violence in Kenya, sparked by a flawed electoral process.
Latest from USIP on Kenya
- May 1, 2013 | Publication
The May 2013 Prevention Newsletter features a Q&A with the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, on the Responsibility to Protect and highlights the role of security sector reform as a tool for preventive action.
- April 30, 2013 | Publication
New technologies can be effective tools for preventing conflicts, but they have to be part of a coordinated strategy rather than the driving factor for a prevention effort, according to findings from an examination of cases in multiple countries on three continents.
- March 12, 2013 | Publication
A young woman who saw her home burned to the ground as a child, and another who ended up homeless for 1 ½ years after Kenya’s election violence of 2007 and 2008, are among the youth leading a movement to end the destructive cycle. A roundtable at USIP co-sponsored with Mercy Corps explored a program aimed at strengthening the constructive force of youth in Kenya.
- March 12, 2013 | Publication
USIP’s Jacqueline Wilson discusses the recent Kenyan elections and how the country can continue to mend rifts from the 2007 violence.
Post-election violence following Kenya's December 2007 election resulted in 1,000 deaths and the displacement of 600,000 Kenyans. The Institute funded Kenyan civil society efforts in support of the reconciliation process, and continues to work with organizations in Kenya to further key provisions of the National Accord. USIP continues to support efforts to promote dialogue and reconciliation in Kenya following the electoral violence.
Supporters of Raila Odinga, Kenya’s main opposition leader, clashed with supporters of Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent president, following the announcement that Kibaki had won the December 2007 presidential elections. The violence resulted in more than 1,000 deaths at the hands of security forces and violent ethnic clashes. About 600,000 have been internally displaced - about half of the displaced fled to camps, while the other half found lodging within families. A panel of Eminent African Personalities, designated by the African Union, mediated between Odinga and Kibaki.
In February 2008, a negotiated settlement was reached on a National Dialogue and Reconciliation Process that resulted in four agreements that aimed to address the roots of the post-election violence; undertake constitutional, land, and electoral reform; and establish a truth and reconciliation commission. The successful implementation of these agreements and the understanding and resolution of the underlying tensions are keys to breaking the cycle of violence.
On August 4, 2010, Kenyans voted to approve a new constitution that would dramatically change the political landscape, address the land tenure problems, and provide a new bill of rights, among many other reforms. The peaceful nature of the referendum was also a testament to the reform of Kenya's electoral institutions, which had been sharply criticized in the wake of the postelection violence.
- Listen to the June 8th event on "Constitutionalism in Africa"
Kenya Working Group
As Kenya moves forward with its new constitution, implementing the other aspects of the National Accord, and preparing for the 2012 general elections, the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the United States Institute of Peace has created a Kenya Working Group to discuss these events as they unfold. The Kenya Working Group, which will operate under Chatham House rules, will feature experts to provide insights to these critical developments, as well as allow participants a forum to exchange information, collaborate on projects, and share ideas.
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