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Kenya’s Post-election Conflict: Some Lessons for Somaliland

The multiple postponements of Somaliland’s presidential elections, had begun to erode the legitimacy of Somaliland’s political institutions and created an environment of distrust that boiled over into violent demonstrations in September. Unlike in neighbouring Kenya, however, major violence was avoided and within a year the people of Somaliland held peaceful elections. Nevertheless, as this paper on post- election violence in Kenya by Axel Harneit- Sievers reflects, the experience of successfully organising elections is no guarantee that things will go well next time. The experience of Kenya, therefore, has lessons for the democratisation process in Somaliland.

Axel Harneit-Sievers

Director, Regional Office for East & Horn of Africa, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya

“Dr. Axel Harneit-Sievers is the director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s (HBF) Regional Offi ce for East & Horn of Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born in 1957, he is a historian and political scientist specializing in African studies. He worked with various universities and research institutions in Germany, before moving to Lagos, in 2002, as director of HBF’s newly-founded Nigeria country offi ce. In December 2006, he took over HBF’s regional offi ce in Nairobi.”