Colonialism and ethnic conflict in post colonial Africa: a case study of Kenya 1963-2007
Mwaura, Samuel W N
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Kenya was a British Colony from 1895- 1963. The British stamped their imperial power through the way they administered Kenya. They used divide and rule whereby they divided the administrative boundaries based on tribal population patterns. The land policy which saw people being moved from their native land so that the British might take the fertile land for agriculture cannot be denied. When Kenya got her independence in 1963 nothing much was done to address the issues the colonial legacy had bequeathed the newly independent Kenya. The successive regimes of Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Eventually Mwai Kibaki did not address the issues so as to avoid potential conflict. The study has established that colonial legacy laid a foundation of the many ethnic conflicts that have plagued Kenya after her independence. Land, ethnicity and governance problems are issues that have brought ethnic conflict in Kenya. Kenya experienced the worst ethnic conflict in 2007 -2008, whereby 1,300 people died and about 350,000 people were internally displaced. From the grievances that caused the conflict, there emerged long-term issues which have not been dealt with. These are land issues, governance and economic issues. In order for ethnic conflicts in Kenya to be mitigated, long term solutions for long-term issues ought to be found. This is what the Kofi Annan led mediation attempted to do. The mediation proposed reform agendas which should they be followed ethnic conflicts in Kenya can be mitigated.