NAIROBI, KENYA, May 22, 2017—As we come closer to the second general election since the 2010 Constitution, we are saddened that many of the people of Kenya are currently living in a state of unrest and, as many areas remain unstable, the challenges of displaced communities are intensifying.
It is with great concern that we hear daily news from the Mediators Beyond Borders’ Peace Guardians in Baringo and Laikipia. While many conflicts have been avoided over the past few months through the direct intervention of grassroots cross-community activist mediators, far too many instances remain where innocent people and livestock are injured or killed.
Government-led initiatives like the Kenyan Livestock Insurance Programme (KLIP), providing crucial relief through insurance payments to pastoralists, are important steps that will help to alleviate some of the hardships that communities are facing. These steps will lead to wider community stability and general security.
We urge the national and county governments, political parties, police and security forces, and Kenya’s citizens to embrace peaceful discourse and reject further violence and those who call for it. Now is the time for dialogue.
Additionally, we encourage the free media to remember its critical role in reporting— the requirement for balanced coverage and non-biased interpretation is never greater than during times of crisis.
MBBI has been working with Kenyan community peacebuilders, Peace Guardians, from Laikipia, Samburu and Baringo counties for over 6 years, and they, like our international organisation, continue to be committed to peace for all citizens of Kenya.
All parties wish for a peaceful reconciliation that will end the existing cycle of bloodshed; as a continuation of this cycle will surely offer no solace for those already lost and injured.
MBBI understands the government’s need to continue with security operations until normalcy is restored to the region and remains ready to support existing institutions and mechanisms such as the National Steering Committee (NSC) and National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), to ensure non-violent resolution.
It is only through assisted conversations among the interested communities that lasting peace, security and stability for the citizens of Kenya will be achieved.
Our Laikipia and Baringo Peace Guardians are continuing to work with communities, security forces and political parties in the hopes that peace and reconciliation can be achieved; we remain wholly committed to constructive dialogue as the only path for a return to peaceful co-existence.
Our thoughts are with the victims and families of every Kenyan and our hope is that the path for peace will be walked by all so that a solution to the current situation can be found.
For further information, write to Dorina Prech, MBBI KI Team Member, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at +254 723 923 178.