Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | Kenya, which holds elections on Tuesday a decade after deadly post-vote violence, is one of east Africa’s leading economies with a crucial tourism sector based on safaris and tropical beaches.
– Post-election violence –
Kenya was a British colony until independence on December 12, 1963.
Jomo Kenyatta, the country’s first president, died in office in August 1978, to be succeeded by Daniel arap Moi.
In late 1991 Moi abandoned the single party system under international pressure and won presidential elections in 1992 and 1997.
Moi was replaced by Mwai Kibaki in late 2002 and the main opposition National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) won the legislative elections the same year.
Kibaki went on to win re-election in late 2007 against opponent Raila Odinga. The controversial vote-tallying process sparked the most serious political violence since independence, in which more than 1,100 were killed and 600,000 displaced.
In 2008, Kibaki and Odinga signed a coalition accord, with Odinga named prime minister.
In March 2013, Uhuru Kenyatta, defeated Odinga, despite charges of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the 2007-2008 violence. The court dropped its case against him in December 2014.
– Bloody attacks –
On August 7, 1998, an attack against the US embassy in Nairobi killed 213 people and wounded 5,000.
On November 28, 2002 a car bomb attack on an Israeli-owned hotel killed 12 Kenyans, three Israelis and three suicide bombers near the port of Mombasa.
The attacks were claimed by Al-Qaeda.
Since the entry in October 2011 of the Kenyan military into Somalia to fight the country’s Islamist Shabaab group, affiliated to Al-Qaeda, there has been an upsurge of attacks.
On September 21, 2013 Islamist gunmen stormed Nairobi’s Westgate mall killing at least 67 people.
On April 2, 2015, another Shabaab attack killed 148 people at the university in Garissa, eastern Kenya.