Despite progress in enhancing stability and improving governance, conflicts in East Africa continue to claim lives – an estimated 4,731 in 2018 alone. Despite considerable investment by regional and international actors, along the borders of Somalia, in Kenya, and further south, civilians throughout the region are suffering. Ethiopia and Djibouti have served as bulwarks against the growing threats, but Kenya and Tanzania have proven more vulnerable to Al-Shabaab’s reach. In Kenya, Al-Shabaab has been carrying out attacks further inland and remains a significant threat to civilians in the Coast and Northeastern regions. This is a regional conflict that requires a combination of international, regional, and locally-appropriate solutions.
CIVIC’s engagement in East Africa began with advisory support to the African Union and AMISOM. CIVIC helped AMISOM to develop the Civilian Casualty Tracking Analysis and Response Cell (CCTAC), to support the force’s efforts to mitigate harm to civilians during the conduct of operations. Beginning in 2019, CIVIC has undertaken a series of mission to Kenya to conduct analysis around threats and opportunities to civilian protection. We are currently in the process of laying the foundation for regional hub to support East African governments and communities improve the protection of civilians.