The decision by the Court to nullify the results of the presidential election reflects the importance of independent institutions to legitimacy and stability in Africa.
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Social media was first used extensively in the run up to the 2007 elections in Kenya and has been used ever since. Digital platforms have been used to incite violence and hatred as well as to fight such messages and promote a peaceful electoral process. But the Kenyan government, civil society and citizens, need to do more to make social media and digital technology a tool for peace. In particular, they should promote mechanisms to limit hate speech, improve accountability among internet service providers so they can curb hate and fear mongering, and train law enforcement to more effectively investigate and prosecute such speech, all while protecting the constitutional right to free speech.
Soul searching triggered by Kenya’s 2007–08 electoral violence galvanized legal reforms aimed at mitigating future violence. Would they be effective in the August elections?
As the Kenyan electoral campaign headed into the homestretch, prospects for violence were mixed. The Africa Center’s Dorina Bekoe offers an assessment.
How well was Kenya prepared for its August 8 elections? In an interview with the Africa Center, Kenyan academic and commentator Dr. Peter Kagwanja discussed the political dynamics and prospects for violence.
African countries contribute the most peacekeepers to missions on the continent. However, many troop-contributing countries are hybrid democratic/autocratic political systems—characterized as neopatrimonial—and some are accused of using peacekeeping missions as a means to generate rents for their regimes to retain control at home. Others send their troops only to find them partaking in the recipient country’s neo-patrimonial system—their troops exploiting the system to extract economic rents. In both cases, the purpose of peacekeeping has been undermined and the conflict perhaps prolonged.
Kenya experienced widespread violence in the 2007-08 elections, which shaped society’s views on electoral security. Unemployment, ethnopolitics and inequality triggered violence in 2008, making people doubtful of peace in 2013. Kenya made institutional reforms with a new constitution, fought impunity, decentralized executive power and improved minority rights, promoting trust amongst voters in 2013. However, many... Continue Reading
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2018 National Strategies to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism in Africa program. Click here for syllabus, readings, and slides.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2017 National Strategies to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism in Africa program. Click here for syllabus, bios, readings, and slides.
Security encompasses much more than the deployment of armed forces. Effective judicial and quasi-judicial institutions serve as an important means of defusing societal conflicts and provide a check on a state's use of coercive force.
The emergence of a new militant Islamist group in northern Mozambique raises a host of concerns over the influence of international jihadist ideology, social and economic marginalization of local Muslim communities, and a heavy-handed security response.
Protests in Ethiopia are the culmination of a long-simmering series of grievances and demands for greater freedom, equity, and opportunity.