The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has started a nationwide campaign targeting women and youth to promote peaceful co-existence among communities.
Speaking in Garissa town on Wednesday when they met women and youth leaders, the Commission’s Secretary, Hassan Mohamed said that the advocacy was developed out of the realisation that bringing people together in times of conflict to a talking table was difficult as compared to promoting peace among communities.
“We want to see how best we can resolve conflicts before they erupt. When a problem has occurred it becomes difficult to bring people together,” Hassan said.
He said that many communities have bestowed the responsibility of resolving conflicts on their elders leaving out the youth and women who bore the brunt of the conflicts.
Hassan said that women are used in campaign mobilisation through songs and dance whereas the youth are armed to cause violence.
“Women play a leading role mostly during political campaigns mobilisation. They are the ones who attract crowds through dance and songs. Our youth are used to throw stones when rival groups fight,” Hassan said.
He said the advocacy the NCIC has developed will bring women and youth on board so that they can better understand their role and how to avoid inter-communal conflict in future.
Hassan said that the commission was in Murang’a last week and with availability of funds they will be touring other counties especially those that inter-communal conflict is more prevalent.
NCIC is a government agency intended to address and reduce inter-ethnic conflicts. It was created by the National Cohesion and Integration Act (no.12 of 2008) following the 207-2009 post-election conflict.
By Jacob Songok