Igad says Kenya’s peaceful elections big boost to region
Speaking in Nairobi, Igad’s Executive Mahboub Maalim said Kenya, being a regional hub, many observers were concerned about the conduct of the elections and hoped there would be no violence.
“Everyone in the region knows that Kenya is the hub for trade, tourism, transport and communication and many other things. Whatever happens in Kenya has a direct impact on the region, whether positive or negative. That’s why it is a huge relief that the elections were done peacefully and with maturity,” he said yesterday.
He added Igad’s Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (Cewarn) developed and implemented in Kenya to promote peace before elections will be replicated in member countries in the region.
From mid-last year, Igad worked with a number of Kenyan organisations to research on possible conflict areas and propagate peace agenda during the campaign period leading to elections. This included Office of the President, ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education, Brand Kenya Board, The Consulting House, the Global Peace Foundation and National Youth Sector Alliance.
“Through collaborative research, conduct scenarios were developed and shared with various stakeholders to avert electoral violence. Young people were also mobilised under the National Youth Summit to discuss and find practical solutions,” he said. Chairperson of the National Steering Committee on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution SK Maina said the Government borrowed heavily from Cewarn to monitor elections, explaining that it provided a platform for response to threats to peace from Kenyans.
“We were receiving information from all sources including social media, monitors, SMS, which we would share with security agencies and peace committees to have non-violent resolution of emerging conflicts,” he said. Patron of the Global Peace Foundation and businessman Manu Chandaria praised Kenyans and security agencies for keeping peace during and after elections. He noted ideology of peace is rapidly strengthening in all parts of the country.
“All the political differences can be resolved if poverty is tackled among ordinary citizens and that can only be done by creating jobs,” he said. Brand Kenya Board Director of Marketing Musyoki Nzilu said Kenya as a gateway to Eastern Africa region has triumphed in its standing as a result of the elections.