In 2015 the attack on Garissa University seemed to mark a new low for a region long beset by insecurity. As 2016 begins, there is hope that a new regional security approach, led by national officials with local roots, will help reduce violence in the region. Security in the North East is nonetheless a complicated matter. Conflict and violence there emerge from a large number of factors, including poverty and underdevelopment, competition for land and resources, divisive politics—exacerbated it seems by devolution—criminality, corrupt governance, clashes of identity and ethnicity, and the proximity of the border with Somalia. The Government of Kenya has instituted a host of new structures, laws and policies responding to these issues. However, given the complexity of the tasks at hand, they have thus far had mixed results.
On 14 January 2016, the Rift Valley Forum, the International Crisis Group and the Kenya Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) hosted a panel discussion examining the challenges and opportunities facing policymakers as they work towards peace and security in North East Kenya. The meeting launched Crisis Group’s briefing Kenya’s Somali North East: Devolution and Security and the PPG’s briefing Towards Peace and Security in Dryland Kenya: The demand for a new approach.
MP for Wajir