Fears of a renewal of the intertribal violence that marred the aftermath of Kenya’s 2007 presidential election have surfaced ahead of the country’s general election next month. The anxiety is not obvious upon first meeting residents of the communities concerned. But ask them to recount their personal experience of the east African country’s disputed election in December 2007 and concerns over the August 8th poll quickly come to the fore. …According to international investigations, most of that ethnic violence, which left 1,300 people dead nationwide, was orchestrated by politicians and business people who felt aggrieved about the election’s outcome. Afterwards Kenya’s current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his political rival at the time, William Ruto, were charged by the International Criminal Court with inciting their respective Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribes to carry out atrocities. The prosecutions were later abandoned, however.
Both men have put their rivalry aside since 2007, having gone on to form the Jubilee coalition, which won the 2013 general election. The ruling coalition is again contesting the 2017 poll, and its main rival is the National Super Alliance, a coalition of opposition parties led by Raila Odinga, a Luo.
A decade ago Kibera witnessed pitched battles between different tribal groups that left dozens dead. According to residents, tensions are again running high because violence broke out in the area during the political parties’ primaries.