The Kenyan Government Seems Overwhelmed With The Increasing Insecurity Across The Country At All Social Levels
By Steve Biko Wafula / Published March 20, 2023 | 9:16 am
Terrorism: Kenya has been a target of terrorist attacks, particularly by the Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab, which has carried out numerous attacks, including the 2013 Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, the 2015 Garissa University College attack, and several other smaller attacks. Al-Shabaab continues to pose a significant threat to Kenya's security, with the group's fighters often crossing the border into Kenya to launch attacks.
Corruption: Corruption is a pervasive problem in Kenya, with many government officials and institutions implicated in corrupt activities. This has led to a lack of trust in government institutions and weakened the state's ability to provide security to its citizens.
Kenya is currently facing a range of security challenges that have exacerbated the already precarious situation in the country.
In recent years, Kenya has experienced an increase in terrorism, political violence, ethnic tensions, and criminal activities, all of which have contributed to a sense of insecurity among the population. The following paragraphs explore some of the main factors contributing to the worsening security situation in the country.
The Kenyan government should be deeply concerned about the increasing insecurity in the country because it threatens the stability and economic development of the nation. Insecurity can create an environment of fear and instability, which can deter investment and tourism, leading to a decline in economic growth.
Furthermore, it undermines the government’s ability to provide essential services and protect its citizens, erodes public trust in institutions, and can fuel social unrest and political instability. Insecurity also puts the lives of Kenyans at risk, and the government has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.
If the government fails to address the security challenges effectively, it risks losing legitimacy and credibility, which can undermine its ability to govern. Therefore, it is crucial that the government takes decisive action to address the root causes of insecurity and work with all stakeholders to build a safe and prosperous Kenya for all.
- Terrorism: Kenya has been a target of terrorist attacks, particularly by the Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab, which has carried out numerous attacks, including the 2013 Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, the 2015 Garissa University College attack, and several other smaller attacks. Al-Shabaab continues to pose a significant threat to Kenya’s security, with the group’s fighters often crossing the border into Kenya to launch attacks.
- Ethnic tensions: Ethnic tensions and violence have been a persistent problem in Kenya, particularly during election periods. The 2007-2008 post-election violence claimed the lives of over 1,300 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. While the 2013 and 2017 elections were relatively peaceful, there are concerns that the upcoming 2022 election could reignite ethnic tensions and violence.
- Corruption: Corruption is a pervasive problem in Kenya, with many government officials and institutions implicated in corrupt activities. This has led to a lack of trust in government institutions and weakened the state’s ability to provide security to its citizens.
- Weak institutions: Kenya’s institutions, particularly its security institutions, have been weakened by corruption and political interference. The police force, for instance, is often accused of brutality, extrajudicial killings, and corruption, which erodes public trust in the security forces.
- Youth unemployment: Unemployment, particularly among the youth, has remained high in Kenya, contributing to rising crime rates. Unemployed youth are vulnerable to being recruited by criminal gangs and extremist groups.
- Human trafficking: Kenya is a transit and destination point for human trafficking, with many victims subjected to forced labor and sexual exploitation. This not only contributes to a sense of insecurity but also undermines human rights and the rule of law.
- Refugee crisis: Kenya hosts over 500,000 refugees, mainly from neighboring Somalia and South Sudan. The refugee crisis has created a security challenge for Kenya, with some refugees involved in criminal activities and others suspected of having links to terrorist groups.
- Cybercrime: Kenya has seen a rise in cybercrime, including online fraud, hacking, and identity theft. This is partly due to the proliferation of digital technologies and a lack of cybersecurity awareness and infrastructure.
- Climate change: Kenya has experienced the effects of climate change, including droughts and floods, which have led to displacement, food insecurity, and conflict over natural resources.
- COVID-19 pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the existing security challenges in Kenya. The pandemic has led to economic hardship, increased crime, and a diversion of resources from security to healthcare.
In conclusion, Kenya’s security situation is complex and multifaceted, with many factors contributing to the worsening situation. Addressing these challenges will require a concerted effort by the government, civil society, and international partners to address the root causes of insecurity and strengthen institutions and governance.
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