In the wake of the tragic massacre of university students in Garissa by members of al-Shabaab, the Kenyan government has vowed to step up security and retaliate. However, scholars and activists from both within and outside of Kenya are challenging the logic of securitization and militarization and proposing alternative solutions.
Since mid-June, militias have terrorised Lamu and Tana River counties, killing more than 80 people and leaving a trail of destruction. Local opportunists may be behind less grave incidents, but the evidence from Mpeketoni, Hindi, and elsewhere points to Al-Shabaab armed and trained militants. A close examination of the events reveals two other critical points. …
More sad news from Kenya. Over sixty people have been killed in two recent attacks by armed gunmen in the coastal town of Mpeketoni. This is the latest in a spate of attacks in the country since Kenya invaded Somalia in late 2011. And, like previous incidents, the tragic attacks have already become the subject of much speculation and gossip. Different narratives circulate on the streets of Nairobi, in the mainstream media outlets, on the twitter accounts of al-Shabaab, and at the press conferences of Kenya’s leaders. The spectacle of terrorism allows for a proliferation of different stories to circulate, which often serve to deeply abstract these events from their complex regional and trans-national causes. As the U.S. stands poised for another potential re-engagement with Iraq, what lessons can be drawn from the ongoing conflict in Northeast Africa?
Somali remittances, which are sent through money transfer operations (MTOs), have been the subject of much scrutiny since 9/11. Members of the Somali diaspora rely on MTOs to send money (thought to total $1.2 billion a year) to their families and extended kin in Somalia, which, until recently, had no central monetary authority. These operations, in turn, rely on the banking facilities of large international banks. Yet MTOs have faced closures due to accusations they they serve as vehicles for laundering money and financing terrorism. Largely absent from debates over Somali remittance flows, however, is the issue of corruption within some of the world’s most powerful multinational banks and international financial institutions.