News in Review: Kenya – November 5, 2015

This past week in Kenya, security forces released a report raising concerns about al Shabaab’s new recruitment tactics. According to the report, poverty is leaving marginalized populations vulnerable to manipulation by the terrorist organization. Furthermore, security forces and government officials have been raising concerns about the potential consequences of corruption for Kenya. This concern was demonstrated most recently by the investigation of Youth Enterprise Development Fund officers on allegations of fraud. Finally, traffic stopped for hours on Lang’ata Road as matatu drivers blocked the road in protest over police harassment.

Al Shabaab & Street Families

Kenyan security forces released a report recently saying that al Shabaab is now targeting street families as they are easy to access and manipulate with offerings of money and food. Street boys, often marginalized and poorly looked after, are particularly at risk since their disappearances are rarely reported to police.

Mghenyi, Charles. “Shabaab Eyes Street Children in Mombasa.” The Star. November 2, 2015.

Mwakio, Philip. “Al Shabaab Now Targeting Street Families.” Standard Digital. October 31, 2015.

Corruption

Corruption has been the topic of conversation in Kenya the past two weeks with accusations that the government, particularly President Kenyatta, is at best a victim to the systemic problem and at worst supporting it.

Musau, Nzau. “Corruption, Tribalism Conspire to Hold Kenya to Ransom.” Standard Digital. November 1, 2015.

Oudia, Rusdie. “Government interfering with operations of anti-corruption agency, Raila says.” Standard Digital. October 31, 2015.

Youth Fund

The chief executive officer and finance director of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund have been sent on compulsory leave as they are investigated after an internal investigation showed an undisclosed amount of money had been transferred from the fund’s official bank account.

Kajilwa, Graham. “Youth fund bosses sent on 14-day leave.” Standard Digital. November 3, 2015.

Matatu Drivers & Police Harassment

On Tuesday, the matatu operators (the local bus system in Nairobi) blocked Lang’ata Road leaving many commuters stranded as they protested ‘police harassment.’ The event lasted an hour after several of the operators had been stopped by police and allegedly held illegitimately.

Kakah, Maureen. “Rongai matatu operators protest ‘police harassment’.” Daily Nation. November 3, 2015.

The views expressed by Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Interns are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the IPJ or of the University of San Diego.

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