Ethnic Conflict in Kenya

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by ClaudiaandAubrey
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
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Ethnic Conflict in Kenya

Ethnic Conflict in Kenya

- over 70 distinct ethnic groups in Kenya- largest is Kikuyu, which makes up only about 20% of population- 98% of population consists of people idigenous to Kenya- population consists of many Kenyans and Somali refugees- also consists of hundreds of tribal groups, including Pomoko, Orma, Turkana, and Pokots

1963 - Kenya gains independence 1969 - Assassination of gov't minister sparks ethnic unrest. 1987 - Opposition groups suppressed. International criticism of political arrests and human rights abuses.1990 - Death of the foreign minister in suspicious circumstances leads to increased dissent against gov't.1992 - Approximately 2,000 people killed in tribal conflict in the west.1998 Aug. - Al-Qaeda operatives bomb the US embassy in Nairobi, killing 224 people and injuring thousands.2001 - Ethnic tensions culminate in several violent clashes. In December, thousands flee and several people are killed in rent battles involving Nubian and Luo communities in Nairobi's Kibera slum district.2002 Nov. - Terror attack on Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa kills 10 Kenyans and injures three Israelis. A simultaneous rocket attack on an Israeli airliner fails. A statement - purportedly from al-Qaeda - claims responsibility.2006 Nov. - December - Regional flooding renders thousands homeless. Some 100,000 Somali refugees cut off by floodwaters in the north-east are supplied by air drops.2007 Dec. - Disputed presidential elections lead to violence in which more than 1,500 die and more than 600,000 displaced.2012 March - Oil discovered2012 Aug.-Sept. - More than 100 people are killed in communal clashes over land and resources .2013 Sept. - Somali al-Shabab militants seize the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi and kill more than 60 people, saying they want Kenya's military to pull out of Somalia.2014 June - At 48 people die after Islamist militants attack hotels and a police station in Mpeketoni.2015 April - Al-Shabaab militants carry out a massacre at Garissa University College in northwest Kenya, killing 148 people (mostly Christian students).

Ethnic Groups


Possible Solution


Extent of Conflict

- Religious differences: the majority of Kenyans are Christian while the majority of Somalians are Muslim- Extremist groups: Kenya is located near Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Eritrea, all of which have been known to empathize with Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab and to contain training grounds for such extremist groups, causing conflict and violence- Corrupt Gov't: many Kenyans blame gov't for inciting violence due to upcoming election in March- Land Disputes: the hundreds of tribal groups within Kenya have fought over land borders, access to water points, and cattle rustling. EX: Pomoko and Orma tribes have been fighting over borders and land for more than 30 years- Resources: discovery of oil has increased tension between surrounding tribal groupsEX: Turkana and Pokots groups have engaged in armed conflict, attempting to get stake in oil wealth- boundary: originally drawn along ethnic lines causing separation and tension

- Improve communication within and between communities: as of now there is limited positive dialogue and communication, causing small actions to raise large suspicion and tension- Develop and promote a stronger sense of nationalism and pride: there is not a definitive conception of what being Kenyan is and a majority of people define themselves in terms of their ethnicity which creates divisions

- Other than the radical extremist groups, no one side is at fault: all the parties involved are simply attempting to benefit themselves- We fear that the conflicts will not be resolved in our lifetimes. Rather, more terror acts will occur before any serious action is taken. Many people are ignorant about Kenya and other countries in Africa. They perceive them as foreign and inferior. For this reason, developed countries like the U.S. have not taken major steps to improve the conflicts in kenya because they justify the conflicts since it is “africa.”

Our Opinion

- Global - The issue with allowing Somali refugees to seek refuge in Kenya relates to many other countries issues determining if they should let Muslim refugees into their country - The whole country of Kenya has been affected by the more than 600,000 Somali refugees because they use government money to support the refugees.


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