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Paul Hidalgo

The political upheaval and conflict in Kenya could not be better for the Islamist militant group al Shabaab. Its continued attacks have successfully pitted the country’s two top politicians against each other in a game of political brinkmanship that could plunge Kenya into a toxic ethnic conflict -- exactly the kind of environment in which a group like al Shabaab can thrive.

Brahma Chellaney

East Africa is one of the world’s most water-stressed regions. Overexploitation of water resources there has been compounded by declining snowpacks on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. In this light, the discovery of two significant aquifers in mostly arid Kenya has been hailed as a potential game changer.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens

The recent al Shabab attack on a Nairobi mall might have come as a surprise to Western observers, but it should not have. In form and motivation, the attack mirrored several others in the last few years.

Reading List,
Joel D. Barkan

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Kenya.

Leonard S. Rubenstein

For the second time in less than six months, polio vaccine workers in Pakistan have come under fire. For the gunmen, killing health care workers has been seen as a legitimate response to a nefarious extension of Western power. And, for the CIA, faux vaccine campaigns have sometimes been justified as part of the war on terror. Both sides are wrong: denying or providing health care should never be an instrument of statecraft.

Bronwyn Bruton

As Kenyans go to the polls, the race for the presidency between Ralia Odinga, the current prime minister, and Uhuru Kenyatta, the current deputy prime minister who was indicted by the ICC for war crimes, is too close to call. The contest will likely be drawn out and could be violent. Here's how the United States should respond to each possible outcome.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens

Until recently, experts assumed that al-Shabaab’s recruitment in Kenya was limited to the country’s Somali minority, which numbers roughly a million people. But recent attacks have forced a reassessment; as ex-members testify, now Kenyans are joining up as well.

Bronwyn Bruton and J. Peter Pham

By some measures, the ad-hoc alliance among Ethiopia, Kenya, and the African Union has come close to defeating the terrorist group al Shabaab. But a military victory could scatter the group's most radical leaders across the Horn of Africa.

Daniel Branch

Nairobi sent troops into Somalia last month ostensibly to root out Islamist militants. But the real reason Kenya went to war has more to do with the restless ambitions of its own military, which is eager to abandon the country's largely peaceful history.

Letter From,
Mwai Kibaki

The president of Kenya argues that, despite the conflict and famine ravaging Somalia, there is an opportunity for East Africa to escape a regional mess.

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