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March 19-26, 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Kenya
Posted on March 26, 2015

Compiled by Pierre-Philippe Turnbull

Tribalism on the rise
State Owned Media

Tribalism more rampant now than before: Francis ole Kaparo (Daily Nation, March 21 2015)

  • Ethnicity is more entrenched in the country today than it was two years ago
  • Chairman of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Francis ole Kaparo, said Kenya is more “balkanised” along tribal lines today than it was before Kenyatta assumed power in 2013.
  • It is not only the Presiden’ts fault. Lot of the blame is put on county governments as well
  • The situation might get worse
  • In Kenya, top five tribes by numbers (Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luhya, Luo and Kamba) hold the largest proportion of public service jobs.
  • Ethnocentrism is still a major problems in Kenya – as it is in many other African nations

Last Shabaab base falls in KDF attack (Daily Nation, March 22 2015)

  • The Kenya Defence Forces and the Somalia National Army troops say they have taken control of the last stronghold of the Al-Shabaab militia group.
  • KDF moved into Somalia in October 2011 to pursue Al-Shabaab after several kidnappings in Kenya. The troops were later integrated into Amisom in February 2012 after the UN Security Council endorsed the move.

We should not allow pride to stand in way of peace; let’s talk with Al-Shabaab (Daily Nation, March 23 2015) – Opinion piece

  • Following recent debates in Kenyan politics, the topic of engaging in discussion with Al-Shabaab or not has been a heated debate this week. This article argues for an opening – hopefully leading to peace talks.
  • It is sometimes necessary to make seemingly unpopular decisions in order to secure peace. The idea is to look at Americans. They are now talking about negotiating with Bashar al Assad in Syria.
  • As a former Tony Blair chief of staff, Jonathan Powell argues, it is always best to open up lines of communication and start talking sooner rather than later. This is what Kenya should do now.
  • Even former US president Ronald Reagan, who declared that America would never negotiate with terrorists on his watch, secretly engaged “terrorists” in talks and even offered them arms in exchange for prisoners.
  • “Somalia will always be our neighbour, and we cannot escape the fact that it currently harbours members of Al-Shabaab. We must resolve the insecurity problem soon if we do not want to risk sliding into anarchy. Refusing to recognise these facts is tantamount to burying our heads in the sand.”

Talks with Al Shabaab not in our interest (Standard News, March 25 2015).

Letter by Mr. Andrew Franklin, Managing Director for the Franklin Management Consultant Ltd, a consulting firm. In Response to the article “We should not allow pride to stand in way of peace; let’s talk with Al-Shabaab” published in Daily Nation (March 23 2015)

  • Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale has opened the door to important discussions about the continued role of Kenya in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
  • Since September 2012, there has been no diminution in the tempo of Al-Shabaab terrorist attacks.
  • The group is successfully carrying out its campaign of terror in all four front-line counties. There is therefore no reason for Al-Shabaab to seriously negotiate with Nairobi and any talks would have to be on its terms.
  • It is not in Kenya’s interest to attempt any unilateral ceasefires or concessions from Al -Shabaab. Kenya has not responded effectively to existential threats emanating from Somalia despite having appropriate security legislation, a professional military and a huge internal security budget.

UN agencies join leaders in efforts to restore peace in troubled Moyale (Daily Nation, March 24 2015)

  • The agencies and Swedish embassy officials visited Moyale town to assess progress made by elders in maintaining peace.
  • Violence rocked Moyale in 2013 leaving over 30 people dead and more than 70,000 fleeing to Ethiopia.
  • UN head of delegation Rauf Mazou said they will for the next five years work with local communities in addressing the root cause of conflicts based on priorities.
  • Mr Hajj Kadida said the victims had received compensation of between Sh100,000 and Sh275,000 depending on the nature of their destroyed houses
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