CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR PEACE MEETING – Friday 18th April 2008

CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR PEACE MEETING – Friday 18th April 2008

1. IDP’s

  • There are 250 camps still existing countrywide. Little concrete solution for them and we don’t want them to become a forgotten species. Need symbolic gesture to remind govt and public about this situation – a group from CCP to spend night in the camps. Through this, they can strengthen the call for political leaders to go visit, as most still haven’t.

  • Suggestion to go to a smaller camp and spend the night there in solidarity with occupants and to draw media to the issue and collect a view of different opinions of those staying there. There is a small camp at the Good News Church in Molo that would be appropriate, and other suggestions welcomed. Who’s interested?

  • Lights needed for camps- women can’t go out at night because it is unsafe. Kids can’t do homework. Cheap effective lighting needed, particularly in the ‘unrecognised camps’ eg in Nairobi only 6 camps officially recognised and therefore supported by Govt and Red Cross. However there are 6 camps in Mathare alone and conditions in the unofficial camps are very bad – limited shelter, food water, sanitation.

  • Elderly and resettlement brings up separate issues. Most are terrified about going back. It might be necessary to create a home for the aged to cater for those who are 65 years and above.

  • Need to push Annan to make statement re: IDP’s and to find out exactly what Govts plans are for them. Check with Dept in Office of the President (Mr Maina), with UN, and Red Cross. Also with Minister for Special Projects. PC’s and DC’s. There is information about location of all camps, official and unofficial and it needs to be collated. Study needs to be done on who has gone back, how, and whether it is effective. Some, particularly in rural areas will really struggle to return owing to changed conditions and decisions need to be made about what to do there.

  • Amani Welfare Association – Working on a system of re-integration. Giving small stipends – 6000/- for rent and business set up. Has raised Shs 1 mill through private funds. Civil society needs to assist further as it clear from cases all over the world that governments never manage to resettle all IDP’s.

  • A tally of property that has been taken over needs to be made. Eg farms in Molo occupied, houses in Eldoret and all over etc. In Mathare IDP’s are living in tents 100 metres away from their homes which have been squatted. Plans to torch the homes with squatters inside on Sunday 13th were stopped by intervention through Kenya Veterans for Peace who work with CCP. But second cycle of violence could arise from this explosive situation, particularly in urban areas. It is the seed of the next explosion in Nairobi unless it is dealt with. No leader has yet spoken about this and statement needs to be made about securing IDP property before revenge cycle begins. Coalition Govt must make joint statement about vacating property that doesn’t belong to you. Media too needs to begin examining this issue. Specifically can the Concerned Kenyan Writers help here? Jacob Kaloki – Kenya Veterans for Peace on 0720 878 798 can provide information on how they prevented houses in Mathare being torched a week ago and what the situation on the ground is on the issue of appropriated property. Anyone?

  • People need to register their loss of property with the DC and the chiefs. A comprehensive record needs to be created so work can begin on sorting this out and returning items to their rightful owners

2. Misc other items

  • Children – many already speaking of different tribes as the “other” and in insulting terms. This sows seed for future divisions, as unless these kids are educated to change their attitude, they will carry this into their adulthood – causing much problem in 10/15 years time.

  • Many areas are not receiving any information on peace efforts or any help – eg Burnt Forest. Youth from Mathare, Kariobangi, Korogocho, Dandora and Baba Dogo (about 75 people so far) under the auspices of COPAD (Collaboration for Peace and Development) have decided to walk from Nairobi to Kisumu to see situation, disseminate peace messages and do what they can to unify. Funds and help sought. Contact Bernard on 0727 887 885 or Joshua on 0721 706 717

  • www.rescuekenya.org has been accepted as CCP’s communication hub. Much information is collated on the site and all are invited to view, contribute and make this a comprehensive data point.

  • Mombasa – Balala got group together to restore and maintain peace at the coast. It consisted of a comprehensive mix of all major stake holders – Traditional and provincial leaders, councillors, politicians, private sector, religious leaders. They held meeting to discuss peace and development. The meeting was self financed by local companies who raised Ksh 100-150,000 for the purpose, and committees have been set up to work on issues as they arise. The same is needed for Nairobi. A forum needs to be set up and chaired by new Metropolitan Minister. Like Msa it needs to bring all groups together to plan welfare and development of Nbi.

  • Kriegler commission and others commissions have all indicated that none of them are going to explore or pronounce on who won the election, as it is not in their mandate. High likelihood that we will never find out.

  • Chair of Mediation team needs to be more proactive in informing public as to status of discussions. Need to hear more from them. What are they debating? where have they reached? Greater profile and media focus required to keep Kenyans informed.

  • Conference on business sustainability taking place Tues next week – Amb Kiplagat is main speaker. CEO’s of all microfinance organisations have been invited to attend. Discussion will be on conflict anticipating strategies as well as alleviating current situation.

  • NPI have done research on reconciliation commissions around Africa. They will hold conference on 28/29 May to discuss and debate their usefulness. They are hoping to invite people from Ghana, Sierra Leone etc to participate

  • Reconciliation Commission – Great focus and emphasis needs to be placed on public inclusion in structuring this. Bill supposed to go to parliament next week and there has been no consultation with public as to make up of the members of committee. Silence also so far on the actions needed to take place and on their stance to Agenda 4 (agreements on constitutional, police, public services, management of public finances, land reform). Public participation required and a team to follow progress on these agendas is required. Its suggested that KEPSA, Peacenet, Religious org and all civil society groups band together to effectively do this

  • CCP UK to be formed. Soiya Gecaga is out from UK currently for 2 weeks looking for projects that need funding, particularly for smaller groups, researching and discussing prior to set up. Shalini and Soiya moving ahead on peace bracelet initiative – small income generating project that also aims to publicise the cause of Kenya through sales at Cannes, in shops abroad, etc in same way as white band campaign did for Make Poverty History campaign

  • Refugee studies group at Oxford University reiterated their offer of help. Below are some ways in which they can assist:

a). We produce a publication called Forced Migration Review 3-4 times a year containing articles from academics and practitioners about the most current issues. This is the most widely read publication on forced migration, distributed free of charge to a global readership of c.15,000 and is entirely funded by donors. It might be a useful vehicle for an article by Citizens for Peace.

b) We have an international summer school each year, which takes place in July for 3 weeks and fosters dialogue between academics, policy-makers and practitioners

working to improve the situations of refugees and IDPs. We have a number of

bursaries to offer, particularly to participants from the global south. This may be of interest to some of your members.

Contact Amelia Richards
 Head of Development
Refugee Studies Centre, www.rsc.ox.ac.uk Department of International Development
University of Oxford
3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB, United Kingdom 
Tel: +44 (0)1865 270720; email: amelia.richards@qeh.ox.ac.uk

  • A great Coalition for Kenya needs to be set up. Rather than civil society acting in opposition to Govt how can we set up so that it partners and seeks to help ensure activities to help Kenya and Kenyans take precedence over the next 5 years? A non-paper needs to be prepared on pooling resources and creating a common agenda/consensus for rebuilding the nation.

  • A summary of all CKW stories required for CCP

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