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Search For Common Ground and EU launch initiative to mitigate election related conflicts

Uchaguzi bila balaa aims at fostering collaborative and inclusive community led prevention of election related conflicts.

Deputy Head of EU Delegation Katrin Hagemann with Search for Common Ground officials during the launch

 

Mombasa Kenya, March 31- An 18 months initiative aiming at mitigating election related conflicts has been launched by Search For Common Ground (Search), an international Non-Governmental Organisation with the support from the European Union (EU). The initiative called Uchaguzi Bila Balaa targets youths and women in the Coastal Counties and Garissa County.

While launching the €1.5 Million project at Nyali Sun Africa Hotel on Thursday, the European Union Delegation to Kenya Chargee d’Affairs a.i H. E Katrin Hagemann noted that the support to the action complements a comprehensive EU contribution that will promote more inclusive, peaceful and successful elections in August 2022. Further adding that through its local and international partners the EU will, specifically, support key electoral stakeholders, by providing training and capacity development.

“Our hope is to see people actively contributing to peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent elections with high degrees of integrity,” said Katrin.

The project has two main objectives. First is to strengthen multi stakeholder identification of and response to election-related violence risks. Secondly will be to mitigate the impact of narratives contributing to electoral violence.

Together with its partners, Search aims to achieve the objectives through nine main activities. The activities include; conflict monitoring training, mediation training, regular Early Warning Early Response (EWER) meetings, social media listening, disinformation and hate speech training, a multimedia peace campaign, listenership clubs in hard to reach areas, youth peace cup tournaments and women cultural exhibitions.

The pre and post - election initiative will be implemented by Search and it partners which includes, Human Rights Agenda (HURIA) in Kwale County, Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) in Mombasa County, Tana River Peace for Reconciliation and Development (TRPRD) in Tana River County, Ijara Women for Peace (IJW) in Garissa County.

Speaking during the launch Search’s Swahili Coast Director Judy Kimamo reiterated that unlike other initiatives the peace process takes and called upon all actors to collaborate since the results benefit many.

“Peace is a process, collaboration amongst the actors, audacity to address and engage non - violently, providing opportunities for negotiation and dialogue in a very fluid and changing political ecosystem will enable our country and its people to compete with each other healthily in a fair space,” said Judy.