Concerned Citizens for Peace Initiative

Concerned citizens for peace


Giving a voice to Kenyan citizens to engage and contribute in the creation of peace and hope

Mission statement: to create and to give a voice to the Kenyan citizen to engage and contribute in the creation of peace and hope

Vision: to create a citizen movement that will sustain just peace for all

About the initiative: The concerned citizens for peace initiative came into being on January 1, 2008 after violence erupted in Kenya following claims of rigging and a flawed election process in the country. The original five core members- who included Kenyan peace mediators and members of the civil society- started the group in order to rally for peace and tolerance and to call for dialogue after the country witnessed its worst post-election violence that led to political and ethnic killings and the wanton destruction of property. The group wanted to see a Kenya without violence, a Kenya that is not divided on political or tribal lines. They wanted to see a peaceful Kenya, which had one people who were called Kenyan.

The original five core members included:

  1. Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat- Kenyan renowned peace mediator and former special envoy for Somalia
  2. General Daniel Opande (Rtd) – Kenyan renowned Peacekeeper in Liberia
  3. General Lazaro Sumbeiywo(Rtd) – served as Kenya’s Special Envoy to the IGAD-led Sudanese peace process (1997-98) and then as mediator (2001-05)
  4. Ms. Dekha Ibrahim Abdi
  5. George Wachira– a policy advisor with NPI

The concerned citizens for peace initiative works in two levels:

  1. Creation of a conducive peaceful environment
  2. Encouraging dialogue on pertinent issues during the current crisis

What started off as an initiative by a small group of concerned Kenyans has now come to be seen as a beckon of light during Kenya’s darkest moments in its history. Through peace messages in the print and electronic media, mobile phones and word of mouth during the onset of the violence in the country, the initiative has grown from five members with the a goodwill of hundreds of concerned Kenyans with the numbers increasing each day. With the goodwill shown by citizens of Kenya from across the country who would like to see a peaceful Kenya, the initiative has been able to harness both intellectual and material capabilities that has led to greater initiatives in the civil society, media, international NGOs, development agencies and the business community in the country.

The concerned citizens for peace initiative meets every day to deliberate on methods of increasing tolerance in the country and encouraging more and more individuals and organizations to play a part in planting seeds of peace and tolerance across the country. The daily meetings held with media representatives, civil society, international NGOs, development agencies and the business community are known as “idea harvesting sessions” and are open to all who may have inputs or ideas. These sessions have played a vital role in creating networks that have played a big part in linking like minded Kenyans and organizations to work together to come up with initiatives to restore peace in the country.

The concerned citizens for peace are not a permanent group of people but would like to be there for Kenya during moments of crisis to light the path to peace for our leaders and fellow Kenyans in moments of confusion and turmoil such as what the country is experiencing at the moment.

Some of the major achievements that the group has been able to accomplish in the past one week (January 1, 2008 to January 7, 2008) include:

  1. Has worked together with the Kenyan media council in creating non-political peace messages that are aired daily on prime time TV and radio for free
  2. Have been able to work together with one of Kenya’s leading mobile phone companies, CELTEL, to have short message service (SMS) text sent to all subscribers for free calling on them to be peaceful and to shun hatred and tribalism.
  3. The UNDP donor coordination group meeting where various donor/development agencies agreed to work together occurred in one of the concerned citizens for peace initiative
  4. Has called together, Kenyan Music Celebrities who have agreed to produce music that encourage peace and tolerance. The celebrities are now working on a peace album.
  5. The group has been holding meetings with political stakeholders from both ODM and PNU to discuss initiatives on how to end the stalemate currently being experienced by the two political parties.
  6. Through the media council, the initiative has been able to encourage media to give media blackouts to politicians perpetuating for hate. All media houses have agreed to forego profits and have refused to air any political adverts with hate messages from any political party.
  7. Through its community level initiative, the group has been able to work with Peace net and the Nairobi peace initiative, local civil society groups, to call on politicians to go to their home areas and rally for peace and tolerance, encouraged an initiative for politicians wives to be part of lobbying the citizens for peace.
  8. Under the umbrella of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) religious leaders have set up four response committees- Communication, spiritual, social and political. They have also set up Social committees working on humanitarian assistance with the Red cross and raising food and non food items and encouraging families to take up displaced people.

For more information on the group contact:

1 Comment

  1. […] This was the case in 2008 in Kenya, where civil war was averted largely through the efforts of a team of local peacemakers. Even when wars have taken place and have destroyed relationships and lives, there are those who […]

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