Study on "Civil Conflict Management of the Post-Election Violence 2007/2008 in Kenya"
From 8-24 March 23 students of the University of Trier and 16 Kenyan students from the Kenyatta University of Nairobi realized a study on "Civil Conflict Management of the Post-Election Violence 2007/2008 in Kenya - Lessons Learnt and the Way Forward".
Enlarge image (© German Embassy Nairobi) The project was supervised by Dr. Michael Nebe, Senior Professor, Spatial Planning and Development, Political Science at the University of Trier, Germany.
In order to learn more practically about peace building, conflict management and conflict prevention, the students cooperated with civil society organizations.
According to the topic of the case study, the focus of the research was on the post election violence and the upcoming elections in 2012 or 2013.
The overall goal of the project was to contribute to the understanding that peace and democracy are the cornerstones of a free and personal development for the individual as well as for the state.
Remarks of German Ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette during the workshop:
Civil Conflict Management and Peace Building in Kenya is as important in 2012 as it was in 2008.
Supported by the International Community Kenyan political leaders crafted the National Accord and agreed on a Grand Coalition in 2008 to end the violence which erupted after the last General Election in December 2007.
The way forward to reconcile the country was first and foremost to pass a new constitution in August 2010 and to start to put in place a devolved political system through 47 counties. By giving more resources to the counties and bringing government closer to the people ethnic tension and the struggle for resources should be moderated and, in the end, made irrelevant.
On the national level, institutions like the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and the National Commission on Integration and Cohesion were set up to address long standing grievances and historical injustices, to work for a more cohesive Kenyan society and to overcome the negative ethnicity that has hampered development in Kenya for so long.
Enlarge image (© German Embassy Nairobi) Many grassroots organizations are working towards the same objective in the old hot spots of violence, mainly in the Rift Valley and in the slums of Nairobi. But they are not always supported by the political elite of the country, many of whom still benefit from ethnic division with view to their own personal, political and economic interest.
Kenya has still a long way to go to overcome negative ethnicity and to understand ethnic diversity as a cultural asset and not a political liability. At the moment, about a year before the next General Election, ethnic tension is again on the rise. Once again, quite a number of political leaders use their ethnic communities as their political power base and thus are far from focusing on an issue-based election campaign.
That is why Civil Conflict Management and Peace Building in Kenya is so important in 2012 and beyond.