A fourth presidential bid loss by Kenyan opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga could cost him the confidence of his base, and if by a close margin or because of perceived voting irregularities, could ignite the kind of ethnic violence seen after Kenya's 2007 election and narrowly avoided after its 2013 race, argues CFR's Tiffany McGriff.
"Life has not been the same in Eastleigh since the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) invaded war-torn Somalia to hunt down the al-Shabab terror group in 2011. Since then, explosions halt, at times violently, the buying and selling in this market town."
Al-Shabab's deadly Westgate Mall siege in Nairobi is unlikely to alter Kenya's foreign policy, but the incident could encourage tighter U.S.-Kenya relations and reinforce Washington's engagement with the broader region, says CFR's Jendayi Frazer.
"Kenya ranks among the top U.S. foreign aid recipients in the world, receiving significant development, humanitarian, and security assistance in recent years. The country, which is a top recipient of police and military counterterrorism assistance on the continent, hosts the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in Africa. Nairobi is home to one of four major United Nations offices worldwide."
Jendayi Frazer, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs and current CFR adjunct senior fellow, and Joel D. Barkan, Center for Strategic and International Studies Africa scholar, discuss the elections in Kenya and how they could affect U.S. security interests.
How should the United States respond to Kenya’s political crisis in the wake of the power-sharing deal announced on February 28, 2008? In this POP, Adjunct Fellow Michelle D. Gavin suggests steps the Bush administration could take to promote political and ethnic reconciliation and to restore the viability of Kenya’s governing institutions.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »