Gangs and Vigilantism

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Kenya has a problem with violent and criminal gangs. More than 40 percent of violent incidents in the capital, Nairobi, are attributed to local gangs (Kiama et al. 2016). Since the introduction of multi-party democracy in 1991, gangs have been among the main perpetrators of electoral violence as intimidation of opponents and their support has increasingly been outsourced to organized or ad hoc groups of youth (Fjelde and Höglund 2018). Several hundred people were killed by armed youth groups during electoral campaigns in 1997, while more than a third of the 1,500 people who were killed during the post-election violence of 2007/2008 are estimated to have been murdered by politically mobilized gangs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics
EditorsNic Cheeseman, Karuti Kanyinga, Gabrielle Lynch
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date14 Feb 2020
ISBN (Print)9780198815693
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020


  • Kenya
  • Politics
  • Gangs
  • Violence
  • Vigilantism

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