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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya: The Shifta conflict

On Monday 15 December 2014, the RVI Nairobi Forum hosted a discussion with Hannah Whittaker of Brunel University, author of Insurgency & Counter-Insurgency in Kenya: A Social History of the Shifta Conflict.

She was joined by Ambassador Ali Korane, Kenya’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa, and the discussion was moderated by Ibrahim Farah, a Horn of Africa analyst. In Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya, Hannah Whittaker offers an analysis of the 1963-68 Somali secessionist war in northern Kenya. In a world that is today perceived as increasingly borderless, Whittaker reminds us of the violence that can be produced by state-led attempts to shore up ‘contested’ borders. The book provides insights into the troubled relationship between the Kenyan state and its Somali minority, and between Kenya and Somalia. During this launch, the author discussed her analysis and the insights it offers into the current events in Kenya, particularly in the northern part of the country.


Ibrahim Farah
Horn of Africa analyst


Hannah Whittaker
Brunel University, UK

Ambassador Ali Korane
Kenya’s Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa

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