2013 World News: Kenya

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Presidential Election Largely Peaceful in Kenya


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As Kenya's 2013 presidential election approached, many feared a repeat of the deadly violence that plagued the disputed 2007 race and left about 1,300 dead. Those fears did not play out in the tight race between top contenders Prime Minister Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, the richest man in the country and the son of Kenya's first president. In the March election, Kenyatta won 50% of the vote to Odinga's 43.7%, enough to avoid a runoff. Kenyatta and his deputy president, William Ruto, were two of four men charged by the International Criminal Court in 2012 with crimes against humanity for their roles in the violence that erupted after the 2007 elections. Ruto pleaded not guilty to charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in early September 2013.

Islamic militants terrorize upscale mall

Members of Al-Shabab, an Islamic militant group that is allied with al-Qaeda and based in Somalia, attacked an upscale mall in Nairobi beginning on Sept. 21, 2013, killing nearly 70 people and wounding about 175. The siege lasted for several days, with persistent fighting between government troops and militants. The attack was meticulously planned, and the militants proved to be challenging for the government to dislodge from the Westgate mall. Shabab said the attack was in retaliation for the Kenyan military's role in helping Somalia battle the militant group. In the wake of the violence, the ICC suspended the trial of Ruto so he could return to Kenya and assist in managing the crisis.

—Beth Rowen
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