DoPeace

Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.

Peacebuilding in Action - Post-election Reconciliation in Kenya

I had the opportunity to attend a meeting in DC this week related to getting language about peacebuilding included in the rewrite of the Foreign Assistance Act (currently before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs) and in the State Department Authorization (currently before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee). We heard several inspiring stories about the effectiveness of peacebuilding in helping to stabilize countries either on the verge of devolving into violence or already in the midst of violent conflict.

One of the stories that jumped out as a prime example was that of the post-election peace process in in Kenya in 2007/2008 that kept the country from erupting into civil war. The "Concerned Citizens for Peace" group was formed by a handful of prominent Kenyans who could see the dangerous situation that was about to explode if something proactive was not done to prevent it. Through a series of bold actions, they were able to pull together the conflicting parties, along with third-party assistance from Kofi Annan and other influential peacemakers, and reach a mutually acceptable resolution of differences.

The entire story is documented in "Citizens in Action: Making Peace in the Post-Election Crisis in Kenya", which is attached to this post as a PDF. It's a quick read and provides a fantastic example for reference when someone asks you what a U.S. Department of Peace would do to help reduce violence around the world. Please take a look and share what jumps out at you in this story.

Also, please visit the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sites, see who is on these committees, and let them know you want to see peacebuilding language included in the rewrite of the Foreign Assistance Act (House) and the State Department Authorization (Senate).

CitizensInAction_Kenya.pdf

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Comment by Tricia Idrobo on April 19, 2010 at 4:46pm
Thanks for sharing. What inspired me was to think of hope, committment and the conviction that the problem in Kenya was theirs--as resources, even if they didn't have money, an organization, or power.
Comment by David Sokal on April 18, 2010 at 3:44am
How does the Kucinich Bill describe the role of the Dept. of Peace in relation to the State Department in foreign affairs? For example, if for some reason, the State Department didn't want the Dept. of Peace involved in a particular foreign nation, would the DOP be considered subsidiary and have to follow the wishes of the Secretary of State or would they be considered equals and only the President could resolve a conflict between the two?
Comment by jean paskalides on April 17, 2010 at 1:47pm
I will add my voice for peace. Thanks Ted for keeping peace front and center and keeping us informed. Invaluable service.
Comment by Ted Nunn on April 17, 2010 at 11:56am
Also check out Sen. Kerry's news release re: the intention to have the Foreign Relations committee work on the State Department authorization.

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