The National Cohesion and Integration Commission is deeply saddened by the senseless loss of life following the heinous attack on innocent residents in Mpeketoni area, Lamu County. The incident is regrettable and NCIC sends its condolences to the affected families. Although we are concerned about the loss of life and destruction of property, as NCIC we are also concerned that this attack may trigger a siege mentality among members of one ethnic group.
We wish to reiterate that the lives of all Kenyans regardless of ethnic group or religious affiliation and any human being for that matter is sacred and nobody whatever the pretext or grievance has the right to extinguish those lives. All Kenyans are therefore requested to nurture peaceful co-existence and to resolve issues amicably.
We urge the Government to not only speedily bring to book the perpetrators but also take other steps that give an assurance of security to all Kenyans and build confidence.
Kenya has gradually been recovering from the disruption caused by the 2007/2008 post election violence.;
The country has implemented a number of programmes towards healing and reconciliation. The new Constitution is one of the most important instruments on which our hope for a peaceful and prosperous nation is pegged. Kenyans have welcomed devolution although it has faced teething problems because of the hope of services being brought closer to the people as well as ensuring that national resources are shared equitably. Elections were carried out in a relatively peaceful environment. Kenyans had also opted to move on in the aftermath of the elections despite the dissatisfaction of some.
However, some recent activities that can contribute to the possible resurgence of violence include the aversion towards group or ethnic affirmation on the part of both ordinary Kenyans and political leaders. Such activities have the capacity if not the intent – of undermining efforts towards reconciliation and to contribute to violence and ethnic polarization. There is also increased hate speech in both the traditional and social media.
We recommend that:-
- Government beefs up security so that Kenyans can live, work or move freely.
- The Government counters the perception of lack of inclusivity and diversity in recruitment especially in future appointments.
- That politicians avoid intolerant language, hate speech or inflammatory utterances.
- That Kenyans avoid wholesale condemnation of communities or groups for acts which are perpetrated by criminals.
- That Kenyans use both traditional and social media to build cohesion rather than hate.
- Remember, we don’t have a SPARE COUNTRY, this is the only home we have.
Hassan S. Mohamed, OGW
Dated: 18th June, 2014