International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Developments in the Kenyan Conflict

Kenya is reeling from the recent al-Shabab attack on Garissa University, and the eyes of the world are on the Kenyan government as it reacts to the violence done in its country. Just today, the interior minister of Kenya has announced that several Somali money transfer firms have been shut down, and the bank accounts of 85 individuals and entities have been frozen. The goal of the Kenyan government is ostensibly to prevent Islamic militants from using the firms to fund terrorist attacks. However, Kenya is home to hundreds of thousands of Somalians, many of whom are refugees fleeing conflict in Somalia, and they see this action by the government as an act of persecution and oppression. President Kenyatta is known for having somewhat authoritarian tendencies, especially in times of conflict, and this action by the government could be a precursor to future crackdowns as violence persists or escalates. Even more concerning is the ethnic dimension borne by this particular action by the government. By targeting Somalian individuals and entities the Kenyan government is doling out a blanket punishment that is undeserved by the majority of Somalians living in Kenya, and risks carrying out a form of ethnic oppression should the sanctions continue.


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