Is Kenya’s heavy-handed response to security threats justifiable?

Abdullahi Boru Halakhe — The Kenyan police raid of Masjid Musa in February and the April 1 assassination of Islamic preacher Abubakar Shariff in the coastal city of Mombasa reveals the pernicious cost of the aggressive counter-terrorism campaign led by an unreformed Kenyan police.
Article Keydmedia Online
Is Kenya’s heavy-handed response to security threats justifiable?

The police forces have, over the years, accumulated a tattered reputation because of their use of excessive force, allegations of corruption and extrajudicial killings. For instance, during the 2007-2008 post-election violence in which about 1200 people were killed, and of those, the Kenyan police was accused of killing close to one-third.

While since then some efforts at reforming the police have been undertaken, there remains systemic institutional deficit within the police hierarchy. A lack of political will has also stymied police reform.

The mosque raid came against the backdrop of killings of imams suspected by the police to be allegedly involved in recruiting and radicalising young Kenyans. This parallels the profiling that occurs within Kenyan Muslim communities, especially among Kenyan-Somalis.

Such heavy-handed approaches could prove counter-productive and stymie the long-term efforts at reforming the police.


Article 21 May 2021 10:14

I read your article on Foreign Policy with keen eyes and interest. While whining from public officials does not deserve response from any sensible citizen of the Republic of Somalia, I felt compelled to counter false narrative with more objective analysis.