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Church Council wary of violence ahead of elections

Posted on: February 26, 2002 2:32 PM
Related Categories: Kenya

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) is concerned about the deteriorating security in the East African country, which it fears, could peak ahead of the General Election later this year.

In response to the situation, the NCCK, the Department for International Co-operation and Development, the Office of the President and the British charity, Oxfam, have put up a peace initiative project in some 27 districts to minimise violence, loss of life and property.

The NCCK, which has already co-opted many local non-Governmental organisations (NGOs), say that breakdown of law and order had reached alarming levels and was gaining momentum as the General Election approached. This is what prompted the action by Christians to develop new community based conflict resolution and early warning systems to pre-empt disruption of life even after the polls.

In their brief to the British High Commission here, which is key in seeking funding for the project, the NCCK said the 27 districts were selected after they were identified as the worst hit by an unprecedented rise of lawlessness with considerable loss of life and property.

Tribal conflicts, the report says, were on the rise and were made worse by conflicts over land ownership and grazing lands, armed robberies, cattle rustling, organised crime, mob executions, rape and ritual murders, especially in the rural areas.

Some of the conflicts were politically instigated exploiting old differences between clans and communities to fuel violence, which often went out of control. The government was later blamed.

The main objective of the project, which will run for one year, is to equip the communities with the capacity to solve their own conflicts, detect and report conflicts and be able to synchronise their local peace building initiatives with those at provincial and national levels. There will be help in educating the communities and enabling them to identify reliable leadership, which can offer direction in times of trouble.

Article from: All Africa News Agency