Search for Common Ground launch ‘Uchaguzi Bila Balaa’ initiative amid upcoming 2022 elections
By Caroline Tsumah
International NGO Search for Common Ground, with the support of the European Union, on Thursday launched the ‘Uchaguzi Bila Balaa’ initiative.
The initiative which aims at mitigating election related conflicts, targets youths and women in the coastal region and Garissa.
The launch which happened at the Nyali Sun Africa Hotel, Mombasa County, was attended by the EU Acting Ambassador to Kenya, Ms. Katrin Hagemann. She lauded the initiative noting that it is set to promote inclusive, peaceful and successful elections come August 2022.
“This local and international partnership will help support key electoral stakeholder by providing training and capacity development that will result to transparent elections with a high degree of integrity.” Said Ambassador Hagemann.
The initiative not only aims to strengthen multi stakeholder’s identification and response to election-related violence risks, but also mitigate the impact of narratives contributing to electoral violence.
The partnerships’ strategy to achieve this is through conflict monitoring, mediation training, regular Early Warning, Early Response (EWER) meetings, social media listening, disinformation and hate speech training, multimedia peace campaign, youth peace cup tournaments and women cultural exhibitions.
Search for Common Ground, Swahili Coast Director Judy Kimamo, called upon all stakeholders and partners involved to collaborate so as to bring fruitful results.
“Peace is a process, collaboration amongst the actors, audacity to address and engage non-violently, providing opportunities for negotiations and dialogue in a very fluid and changing political ecosystem will enable our country and its people to compete with each other in a healthy manner and fair space.” Said Ms. Kimamo.
Other partners in this initiative include, Human Rights Agenda (HURIA) in Kwale County, Muslim for Human Rights (MUHURI) in Mombasa County, Tana River Peace for Reconciliation and Development (TRPRD) in Tana-River County and Ijara Women for Peace (IJW) in Garissa County.