It must first be emphasized that the persecution due to Islamic extremism contains elements of ethnic cleansing in the northeast and coastal areas of Kenya. Kenya has a very complex ethnic composition which also strongly affects daily politics. Secondly, Kenya is a country with a Christian majority (82%) and a considerably smaller Muslim population (10-15%). Yet this Muslim minority has become politically powerful in many sectors in the country. Also important is the level of corruption. In Kenya, the corruption of public institutions is rampant, and its effect on protecting citizens is massive. The Mombasa Republican Council (MRC, a group that advocates for the secession of northeast and coastal Kenya), has become more violent and is linked to terrorist groups like al-Shabaab. It is the cumulative effect of this complex situation that has led to the increase of Kenya’s score in WWL 2016.
Sadness mingled with messages of hope at the memorial ceremony in Eldoret, Kenya as those left behind remembered the 147 slain during the massacre on April 2, 2015.