International terrorism and its psycho-social impacts in Africa: A case study of Kenya, 1998-2015

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International terrorism as a man-made event is a warfare whose battlefield is the mind. It is a psychological warfare that seeks to influence humanity behaviour. Its consequences are not only physical, but also psychological and social. This research seeks to examine and assess the psychosocial impacts of international terrorism in Africa focusing on the victims and first responders to terrorist  attacks in Kenya between 1998 and 2015.This period covers the US Embassy bombing in 1998 to the Garissa University College attack in 2015. The study was carried out using a questionnaire administered to willing survivors and target  groups. The study first seeks to establish the key impacts of international terrorism  globally, then analyzes the psychosocial impacts on the victims and finally examines and assesses how victims cope and respond to terror attacks. The assessment and analysis uses the psychosocial model from Psychology since survivors experience the impacts with variably depending on their location from the epicenter of the terror attack to its periphery. There is scanty literature on the psychosocial impacts of international terrorism  from  an  International  Relations perspective and  the available  literature  is heavily dependent on the discipline of Psychology. The study finds that majority of the survivors experience flashbacks and  memories of  the attacks and  suffer psychosocial effects such as horror, insomnia, anxiety, fear of crowded places and avoided conversations, people and places that reminded them of the traumatic event they were involved in. The research also finds that the government of Kenya has not put in place sufficient measures that can assist the survivors of a terror attack. No study, known to the researcher,  has been done in the country on the psychosocial impacts of international terrorism. There is need, therefore, for further research  to be done in this area  and to develop a theoretical framework that can be applied in the analysis of the psychosocial impacts of international terrorism form an International Relations perspective.

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