n Institute for Security Studies Papers - Political violence in Kenya : a study of causes, responses, and a framework for discussing preventive action




Following the 2007 elections, Kenya suffered political violence. More than 1 000 Kenyans lost their lives and many were displaced. While often portrayed as standing in contrast to an otherwise politically stable country, the fact remains that large-scale political violence has occurred on several other occasions. This paper looks into the legacies of political violence in Kenya, and points to some of its main causes. By drawing on transitional justice discourses, the paper discusses the action taken by the parties to the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation and other stakeholders. In analysing these measures, it is argued that for Kenya to prevent the recurrence of political violence, priority must be given to profoundly reforming institutions and ensuring that accountability measures are set up.


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