What were the historical circumstances that led to the violence in 2007? Do any of those circumstances still exist today, and if so, is there a possibility for the violence to happen again?


1 Answer 1


Historical Circumstances for Violence in 2007:

1. Tribal Conflict:

There are two main and conflicting tribes in Kenya, Kikuyu and Kalenjin, Kikuyu being the majority. But they constitute only 22 percent and 12 percent of the total population respectively. There are many other tribes too, but their population is less as compared to these two tribes. The major conflict in Kenya between these tribes is for food, land, water, cattle, and ultimately political domination.

2. Rule of Kenya African National Union - 1964-2002:

Kenya become independent in Dec, 1963 and republic in 1964. Kenya African National Union was the dominant party and ruled from 1964 to 2002. Jomo Kenyatta, of Kikuyu tribe, become the first president and ruled from 1964 to 1978. In 1966, he made some amendments to constitution to consolidate and expand the powers of the president. In 1978, Daniel Moi, a Kalenjin, become the president of the Kenya. However, he was banned for future elections in 1999. He ruled till 2002. They both were oppressive and almost dictatorial as there were no clauses in the constitution for checks and balances .

3. Mwai Kibaki and failed promises - 2002-2007:

In 2002, Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu,as a presidential candidate, promised power sharing between other tribes and constitutional amendments and then referendum, which was very opposite to what KANU had done in it's rule from 1964 to 2002. By forming a coalition called, National African Rainbow Alliance, he defeated Uhuru Kenyatta of KANU and become president. But he failed to keep his promise. These angered the people of Kenya.

Election and Violence - 2007:

Mwai Kibaki formed Party of National Unity, as the coalition NARC broke in 2005. Raila Odinga constructed a pan-ethnic coalition of Luo, Kalenjin, Kamba and Luhya called Orange Democratic Party, all to take down the Kikuyu candidature of the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki. After election Mwai Kibaki was announced and sworn in. ODP's Raila Odinga alleged malpractices and rigging. So, Violence broke out, fueled by historical circumstances. Uhuru Kenyatta, a Kikuyu, supported Mwai Kibaki, also a Kikuyu, in this violence.

Circumstances - Post 2007:

The tribal conflict is likely to remain same. But lots of steps were taken to make peace in Kenya.

These steps are:

1. Power sharing agreement: New post of Prime Minister was created and Railia Odinga become the prime minister.

2. National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008:

The two parties agreed to tackle four main agenda items to end the political crisis and address its underlying causes. These items are Stop Violence and Restore Fundamental Rights, Healing and Reconciliation, Power Sharing, Tackling Long-term Issues. Agenda four, Tackling Long-term Issues, of this act provides the framework for transitional justice, with the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission driving the transitional justice agenda. It also led to the formation of National Cohesion and Integration Commission which is a is a government agency. It is intended to address and reduce inter-ethnic conflicts.

3. Amendments to constitution:

Kenya adopted new constitution after referendum in August 2010.

4. Formation of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission:

IEBC is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 2011 by the Constitution of Kenya to conduct free and fair elections. It replaced the corrupt Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).

March 2013 Elections:

According to Wikipedia: 2013 Elections:

The 2013 election was largely peaceful other than an incident in the early hours of 4 Mar just before polls opened where a gang killed at least six police officers in the region of Changamwe, Mombasa.

The post of Prime Minister was abolished again in April 2013 by the newly formed government of Uhuru Kenyatta. National Cohesion and Integration Commission also opposed the post of prime minister and power sharing.


So, the new constitution and mainly Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and National Cohesion and Integration Commission are definitely playing a significant role in curbing the violence. But still it is very hard to predict whether there will be violence or no violence in future. Let's hope for peace.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.