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Three Takeaways from the Kenya Supreme Court Ruling

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 1, 2017

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.

The Impact of Social Media and Digital Technology on Electoral Violence in Kenya

Recommended research   published by Patrick Mutahi and Brian Kimari, Institute of Development Studies on August 29, 2017

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.

Legal Reforms Aim to Prevent Electoral Violence in Kenya

Spotlight   published by Godfrey Musila on July 26, 2017

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?

Past as Prologue in Kenya’s Elections? A Discussion with Peter Kagwanja

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 23, 2017

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.

Rentier Peacekeeping in Neo-Patrimonial Systems: The Examples of Burundi and Kenya

Recommended research   published by Malte Brosig, Contemporary Security Policy on February 6, 2017

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.

Elections and Violent Conflict in Kenya: Making Prevention Stick

Recommended research   published by Claire Elder, Susan Stigant, and Jonas Claes, United States Institute of Peace on November 9, 2014

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

Q&A: Somalia Charts Security Transition

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 17, 2018

Somalia’s National Security Advisor talks about political will, security reforms in Somalia’s Transition Plan, and the commitment to domestic and international coalition building to sustain the country’s progress.

Militant Islamist Groups in Africa Show Resiliency over Past Decade

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on June 28, 2018

A time-lapse review of violent episodes involving militant Islamist groups in African since 2010 provides insights into the evolution of these actors over the course of this decade.

From Urban Fragility to Urban Stability

Africa Security Brief No. 35   published by Stephen Commins on June 12, 2018

The growing share of Africa's urban residents living in slums is creating a further source of fragility. However, integrated urban development strategies that link local government, police, the private sector, and youth are strengthening social cohesion and enhancing stability.

AMISOM’s Hard-Earned Lessons in Somalia

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 30, 2018

In an interview with the Africa Center, Simon Mulongo, deputy to the AU Commission in Mogadishu, says that AMISOM’s gains could never have been realized if it had continued to rely on the traditional peacekeeping template.

Navigating the Competing Interests of Regional Actors in South Sudan

Spotlight   published by Luka Kuol on May 29, 2018

Regional considerations have always played a prominent role in South Sudan’s security landscape. Indeed, the country was born from a regional fissure between what are today Sudan and South Sudan. This schism has been subsequently shaped and influenced to varying degrees by all of South Sudan’s neighbors. These dynamics have continued with the country’s descent... Continue Reading