KENYA: Reconciliation key to returns

KENYA: Reconciliation key to returns
15 Apr 2008 14:07:54 GMT

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Source: IRIN
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NAIROBI, 15 April 2008 (IRIN) – Peace-building and reconciliation efforts to alleviate ethnic tension must be stepped up before internally displaced Kenyans are pushed to return to their homes or the risk of further violence will remain high, according to the UN and agencies.

“Ethnic tension remains high – hate, resentment and mistrust are widespread and people have few avenues to vent their feelings,” Bernard Leflaive, early recovery and food security cluster coordinator and consultant to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), told IRIN. “The big precondition for return must be that people are able to live in security wherever they choose to go, and they should be able to form normal relationships with their neighbours.”

The early recovery and food security cluster – comprising UN bodies, NGOs and government departments – aims to assist the government to ensure that communities affected by Kenya’s post-election violence return to a state of normalcy as early as possible. The cluster deals with, among other issues, peace and reconciliation, governance and rule of law and the restoration of livelihoods.

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