Peace Plan Proposal – Inter Religious Forum – 9 Jan 08

Peace Plan Proposal
Friday, January 11, 2008 by Communications


Press Statement

Peace Plan Proposal

1. Introduction
As we announced in our Press Statement of 9th January 2008, the Inter Religious Forum has been engaged in mediation efforts between the government and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). In our meetings with President Mwai Kibaki and Hon Raila Odinga and their teams on separate occasions, it became clear that there were points of agreement and points of departure.

We now wish to share with the nation what we have established and the implications of the options we have identified.

2. The crisis we are facing
No doubt, the country is facing a crisis of unprecedented magnitude in Kenya’s history. Within two weeks of the election, over three hundred thousand Kenyans have become internally displaced. Their properties, valued at billions of Shillings, recklessly destroyed, and over five hundred lives lost. The displaced peoples are living in deplorable conditions in Church compounds, police stations, schools and other places of worship / social activity. The dehumanizing aspect of this crisis is especially seen in the growing number of women and children who have been sexually assaulted. Psychologists are estimating that the trauma to which Kenyans have been subjected, has the potential to bring out the worst.

3. Political Dialogue and Mediation
In our meetings with the two protagonists, the Political Mediation Team noted the following points of similarities:

i. Openness to dialogue by both parties
ii. Mutual mistrust between the two parties
iii. Openness to facilitation of dialogue by religious leaders by both parties
iv. Concern about the degeneration of the situation in the country

It also noted the following points of divergence:

i. Dispute over the credibility of the presidential results.
Whereas the ODM are of the view that the results were manipulated, President Kibaki’s team are of the view that the elections were free and fair and that the due process was followed

ii. Immediate Concerns of the Parties
Whereas the President’s greater concern is restoration of peace, ODM’s greater concern is resolution of the disputed results

iii. Procedure for resolution of the dispute
Whereas the President’s team prefers a resolution through the courts, ODM favours an out of court settlement

4. Possible Solutions and their Implications
We as the Inter Religious Forum consider that the challenge facing Kenyans today has got immediate, medium term and long term dimensions. Consequently, we have identified three levels at which these need to be addressed.

a. Resolution of the immediate political crisis
The present crisis must be resolved to allow Kenyans settle down and resume normal lives. In our efforts so far, we have identified the following possible solutions as implied by the parties. We as the Inter Religious Forum have taken time to reflect on each of these and their implications. We share them hereunder:

Option Interim Measures Advantages Disadvantages Role of Religious
Maintain Status Quo – Security forces to maintain law and order
– Need for confidence building by the government
– Need for continued dialogue and reconciliation among local communities
– Resettlement of the displaced
– Humanitarian aid support for the affected
– Address economic and social injustices real or perceived
– Government to reach out to other parliamentary parties
– Continuity in governance
– No constitutional crisis on the presidency
– Demonstration may persist
– Parliament may not function properly
– Further polarization of the country and ethnic animosity
– Room for dialogue diminished
– Possible erosion of confidence in electoral process and other institutions and thus possible degeneration of law and order
– Possible abuse of security forces
– Lowered confidence of International agencies and possible relocations
– Continue in prayer for the nation
– Maintain dialogue with both parties to pursue justice, truth and peace
– Maintain dialogue and reconciliation among local communities
Coalition Government between PNU and ODM – Agree on power sharing formula
– Need for confidence and trust building within the government
– Harmonize policy and ideological positions
– Continued dialogue and reconciliation among local communities
– Resettlement of the displaced
– Humanitarian aid support for the affected
– Address economic and social injustices, real or perceived
– Reconstitute cabinet
– Restore confidence of International agencies
– Opportunity for healing
– Cohesion in parliament
– Relative peace in the country
– Lack of effective opposition in Parliament
– Possible erosion of confidence in electoral process and other institutions
– Fragile unity in government
– Conflict of policy and ideological differences
– Continue in prayer for the nation
– Maintain dialogue with both parties to pursue justice, truth and peace
– Maintain dialogue and reconciliation among local communities
Re-tallying of Presidential votes – Set up independent commission to conduct the re-tallying process
– Negotiate a legal process for re-tallying
– Review the legal position on the presidential transition
– Verify the integrity of the electoral documents
– Continued dialogue and reconciliation among local communities
– Resettlement of the displaced
– Agree on interim government arrangements
– Sense of truth and justice restored
– Sense of credibility to the emerging winner
– Possible faster healing of the nation
– Relative peace in the country
– Low cost
– Possible lack of confidence on results due to perceived tampering with electoral documents
– Possible legal complications in the event of need for presidential transition
– Possible further polarization of the country and ethnic animosity
– Continue in prayer for the nation
– Provide voter education on possible outcomes
– Maintain dialogue with both parties to pursue peace
– Maintain dialogue and reconciliation among local communities
Presidential Re-run – Set up an independent commission mutually agreed upon by the parties to conduct the electoral process
– Review the legal position on the re-run
– Agreed on election timetable taking into account the current situation
– Provide better voter education on voter outcome
– Continued dialogue and reconciliation among local communities
– Resettlement of the displaced
– Sense of truth and justice restored
– Sense of credibility to the emerging winner
– Restoration of international community confidence
– Possible faster healing of the nation
– Relative peace in the country
– Possible legal complications
– Extra costs/expenses incurred
– Possible further polarization of the country and ethnic animosity
– Continue in prayer for the nation
– Provide voter education on possible outcomes
– Maintain dialogue with both parties to pursue peace

Whichever of these options or any other that the political leaders settle for, they must commit themselves to uphold the good of the country in the light of the present crisis. Many Kenyans are displaced and disenfranchised and require an urgent solution. We continue to urge the two political camps to soften their stances since their hardline positions are hurting the nation even more. We also urge all Kenyans to pray for the nation and keep peace as efforts are made to resolve this crisis.

b. Review and Closure of the 2007 General Elections
At the medium term level, the country needs to bring the 2007 General Elections to a proper closure. The Inter Religious Forum is putting in place a Task Force of not more than 15 members to collect and collate views from various individuals, groups and organizations to help determine the best way forward.

The Task Force will be supported by the Inter Religious Forum, consultants and experts. It will conduct its business in the public unless where necessary to do so in camera. It shall hold public hearings where various stakeholders will present their processed memoranda. Members of the public will be invited to submit, written memoranda. The Task Force shall determine its own procedure. However, it shall be guided by values of inclusiveness, promote unity in diversity, impartiality, integrity and promote the best interest of Kenya.

The entire process of the taskforce will be completed within a month from the date of its launch.

The outcome of this process will be shared with other stakeholders through caucuses, consultations feedback and eventually launched and published. It will inform the national process of healing and reconciliation, and facilitate the closure of the 2007 General Elections.

c. Address the Underlying Cause of Conflict
In the long term, the Inter Religious Forum strongly recommends that a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission be appointed with the aim of addressing the underlying issues that cause flare-ups around General Elections. These issues would include ethnic, economic, social and justice concerns.

5. Conclusion
In conclusion, we wish to let the politicians know that Kenyans are running out of patience with them. They must commit themselves to the good of the country, not their own ambitions. Our hearts have been touched by the many displaced Kenyans who are seeking positive ways of reconstructing their lives. May the good Lord strengthen them.

May God bless our nation, and may we dwell in peace and unity, and plenty be found within our borders.
Signed on 11th January 2008 by at Nairobi by:

Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims

National Council of Churches of Kenya

Nairobi Pentecostal Church

Kenya Episcopal Conference

Hindu Council of Kenya

Evangelical Alliance of Kenya

Anglican Church of Kenya

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