, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 14 – A new survey released by Ipsos Synovate reveals that more than half of Kenyans are confident that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) will successfully defeat Somalia’s Al Shabaab militia.
Synovate Lead Researcher Tom Wolf however said Kenyans fear retaliatory attacks due to the incursion in Somalia.
“Fifty six percent of Kenyans believe that the Al Shabaab militia will mainly be defeated by the Kenyan military in Somalia.”
“The same percentage says that the attack on the militant group will heighten the risk of terrorist attacks by the group as they seek revenge for the loss of their militants.”
“Additionally some say that the refugees in Kenya should be able to return home following the restoration of peace in their country,” explained Wolf.
The survey also showed support for the government’s proposal to close refugee camps, as peace returns to the war torn country.
He explained that the findings indicated that fewer Somali nationals have been coming into the country following the peace efforts by the Kenyan military.
“There has been a lot of talk by the government and other stakeholders to have camps closed and refugees to return to Somalia. Seventy five percent of Kenyans support this idea and 19 percent do not think it is a good idea.”
“We further asked if the camps are closed what is likely to happen. Fifty four percent think that fewer Somali nationals will try to illegally cross over the borders; 20 percent think the opposite would happen,” he added.
The survey conducted in November further revealed that Kenyans strongly support the decision to have President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto attend their trials at the International Criminal Court.
The Ipsos Synovate Lead Researcher explained that most of those interviewed said the evidence so far presented is weak and baseless and will only strengthen their political careers after they are vindicated.
He further notes that some respondents cited justice for the Post Election Violence (PEV) victims as a reason for their support of the trials continuance.
“Forty two percent of Kenyans want the cases to continue at The Hague; 30 percent want them dropped completely, 13 percent still want them tried in Kenya even as though that is no longer an option and 9 percent to have them continue without the defendants having to be there.”
“A significant proportion believes that the president will win his case and this will strengthen him politically for the rest of his public life.”
“There are also a number of respondents that are hoping for retribution for the PEV victims with the judgement of the cases,” he said.
Wolf however noted the survey revealed that some respondents support termination of the cases, fearing that the outcome (whether guilty or innocent) could evoke violence in the country.
“Twenty percent of Kenyan respondents feel that the cases are compromised and the defendants are actually innocent.”
“A further 19 percent fear that the outcome of the case could cause violence in the country and 18 percent think that the defendants need to first attend to national matters as opposed to attending the trials,” Wolf added.
The survey was conducted between November 1 and 9 and involved a sample size of 2,060 of adults living in both urban and rural areas using face-to-face interviews.