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New Initiative to Defuse Ethnic Conflict in Kenya Before Polls

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

The chair of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission has launched a four month series of conferences countrywide in an effort to curb conflicts related to ethnicity and race before next year’s polls.

NCIC chair Mzalendo Kibunjia said the sessions were designed to avoid the re-occurrence of post-election violence in the country.

Marginalization of some communities, bad governance, unequal distribution of resources, discrimination and misappropriation of public resources were the major issues to be addressed during the exercise, he said.

University of Nairobi Prof. Vincent Simiyu traced the creation of epithets fuelling negative ethnicity to the colonial state, which did not disappear even after independence. He noted there was still not a government-printed version of the new constitution in Kiswahili, Kenya’s national language spoken by 100% of the population.

Meanwhile, a conference on the question of reparations for victims of past violations was begun last month in Nairobi. It was convened by the International Center for Transitional Justice and a German group. The “Study of the Reparative Demands of Kenyan Victims of Human Rights Violations” has been posted on the group’s website at http://ictj.org

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