Haki Yetu (It’s Our Right): Determinants of Post-Election Violence in Kenya
During the violence following the 2007 presidential election in Kenya, it has been reported that around 1,000 people were killed and over 500,000 people were displaced. In this paper, we investigate the root causes of the violence by using a panel survey of 295 rural households living Rift Valley and Nyanza Provinces, where the violence took place. Among our sample households, 11 percent of male members and 9 percent of female members were victims of the violence, 11 percent of households were displaced, and 23 percent of households hosted at least one internally displaced person. The results show that certain ethnic groups had higher probabilities of being victims of the violence. In addition, we find that members of households without land titles were victimized more than those with land titles, but they were less likely to leave their homes. They could be victimized because the mobs wanted to chase them away, but they hesitated to leave their homes, knowing that it would be difficult for them to retain their land without land titles. The land issue was clearly one of the root causes of the violence, and the issue should be solved or at least addressed to prevent similar conflicts in the future.
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