COVID-19: Setting the stage for radicalization into violent extremism in Pumwani, Kenya

Pumwani, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, has in the past been depicted as hub of radicalization for youth turning to the Somali militant group al-Shabab. The situation changed due to preventing/countering violent extremism (PCVE) interventions by different groups. However, due to reduced business in Gikomba market caused by COVID-19, fire outbreaks and demolition of businesses and residential premises, the stage is set for extremist groups to manipulate local grievances to gain position and traction.

Tensions, violence and militarization along the Ethiopian-Sudanese border

Between May 26 and May 28 Ethiopian militias backed by the Ethiopian army reportedly clashed with the Sudanese army along the border. One Sudanese child and one military commander were killed while three civilians and six soldiers were wounded. The violence has resulted in a diplomatic row between the two governments, who were preparing a second joint committee meeting to discuss the demarcation of their common border. Although both countries say they seek a diplomatic outcome to the incident, tensions are high. A Sudanese spokesman told Al-Arabiya news that “[a]ll options are open if the Ethiopian aggression persist… We have sent reinforcements to the border to prevent any violations. The involvement of the Ethiopian armed forces in the recent assaults was evident.” An increased militarized border combined with an apparent willingness for violence could escalate border tensions even further.