Kenya. In January, the Somali armed Islamist movement al-Shabab is said to have taken control of a military base in southern Somalia. According to al-Shabab, up to 100 Kenyan soldiers would have been killed in the fighting. Somalia’s president said in a television interview in February that as many as 180 Kenyans lost their lives in the attack, a mission that was rejected by Kenyans. No death figure was presented by the Kenyan authorities. The Kenyan troops are in Somalia as part of AMISOM, the peacekeeping force that the African Union (AU) sent to the country. According to countryaah, the current population of Kenya is 53,771,307. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a ceremony in Nairobi, assured the dead that the Kenyan soldiers would stay in Somalia. Somalias President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was also present at the memorial service.
In March, at least a dozen militiamen were killed by al-Shabab in Kenyan raids in southern Somalia. However, the attacks by the Islamists continued during the year. In June, al-Shabab assumed responsibility for an assault against a border post in northwestern Kenya when five police officers were killed. In September, at least six people lost their lives in an attack in the city of Mandera near the point where the borders between Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia meet.
The threat from al-Shabab was cited as a reason when in May the Kenyan government again announced plans to close the huge refugee camp Dabaab. The majority of the nearly 400,000 refugees in Dabaab are Somalis. At the end of the month, Interior Minister Joseph Nkaisserry announced that the camp would be closed in November. Instead, in June, it was announced that the number of residents would be reduced by 150,000 people. According to official statements, these people would be allowed to move voluntarily and the UNHCR promised a financial support of US $ 400 to those who moved from the camp. By September, some 75,000 people left the camps. According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), many of them were driven out of fear that they would have to give up if they did not do it by themselves.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of KEN stands for the nation of Kenya in geography.
In November, the Kenyan troops sent to South Sudan began to withdraw. This is due to the dismissal of Kenyan General Johnson Ondieke a few days earlier as commander of the UN force by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. The reason Ondieke got fired was because the UN force remained passive when a hotel in South Sudan’s capital Juba was attacked by soldiers in July.
According to thereligionfaqs, the Kenyan regime also had domestic opposition to contend with. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in April demanded extensive political reforms ahead of next year’s elections, and that all members of the IECB Election Commission, which are tasked with investigating problems in connection with the 2013 election, should be replaced. When supporters of Odinga demonstrated outside the IECB headquarters in Nairobi, the police intervened with tear gas. New manifestations were conducted in May and June and were similarly addressed. Protests were also held in the city of Kisumu in the western part of the country. Especially in Kisumu, the demonstrations became increasingly violent and several people lost their lives. In August, it was announced that several members of the Election Commission would be replaced.
In April, the news came that the trial of Vice President William Ruto and radio spokesman Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague was suspended and the defendants would be released. According to the judges, prosecutors had not been able to present sufficiently strong evidence of Ruto’s and Sang’s guilt. Both were charged as co-responsible for ethnically motivated attacks on political opponents in the 2007 elections. The ICC later criticized the Kenyan government for its unwillingness to cooperate with the court and to withhold important information in the case.
At the end of April, over 100 tons of ivory and one ton of rhino were burned at a ceremony in a national park in Nairobi. According to Kenyan authorities, this was part of the government’s policy to protect the country’s endangered elephants and rhinos. In July, a man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for illegal ivory trade. He was also sentenced to pay a fine of more than SEK 1.5 million.