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Comment & analysis

Joint statement: a call to observe and protect human life, property and dignity of all Kenyans

4 September 2017

Peacebuilding organisations' joint statement following the presidential election result announcement. Saferworld has since issued a statement regarding the Kenyan Supreme Court's decision to annul the results.

We, the National Peace Civil Society Organisations Forum wish to thank all Kenyans for exercising their right to vote and for choosing their national and county level leaders in a peaceful and dignified manner on the 8 August 2017.

Considering the political tensions, violent acts, loss of human life and destruction of property that have emerged following the announcement of the presidential results, we encourage all stakeholders to help prevent any further election-related violence and play an active role for peace in Kenya.

We urge all the stakeholders to observe the following:

  1. To political leadership at all levels: we urge you to reach out and prevail upon your supporters to remain calm and observe the rule of law. We encourage you to express your responsibility to lead, maintain peace, promote unity and cohesion among Kenyans.
  2. To the security agencies: we urge you to exercise your mandate in accordance with chapter four of the Constitution to observe human rights values to specifically preserve human life and dignity of all Kenyans. In the light of the developments of the last few days, we call on you to exercise restraint and avoid excessive use of force that could inflict bodily harm to Kenyans, especially the elderly, women, children and persons living with disabilities. We ask you to provide a conducive environment for peace which includes opening up channels for communication and access to essential supplies and services to the affected communities.
  3. To the religious leaders, national and county level mediation forums: we call on you to proactively exercise your mediation mandate and to promote co-existence among relevant stakeholders. We are encouraged by your efforts thus far as contained in the statements of the religious leaders and the group of concerned citizens initiative.
  4. To the youth across the country: we urge you to remain calm and stop any form of violent acts within your areas of residence, in public places and avoid sharing of information and images that may polarise the peaceful state of the country. Realise your potential as leading peacemakers and promoters of positive engagement in post-election governance and development.
  5. To the media: we encourage you to report responsibly without fear or favour. We urge you to provide Kenyans with factual and consistent information.
  6. To the general public: exercise tolerance and mutual respect for one another. Let us protect our diversity and bond as citizens of Kenya. We encourage you to be responsible in the use of various social media platforms at your disposal. Let us remember and be guided by the words of our National Anthem. ‘Let all with one accord in common bond united build this our nation together….’

In collaboration with other peace actors, we have been working closely with UWIANO Platform for Peace, communities, youth, university students and key stakeholders across the country to support a credible and peaceful 2017 Kenyan electoral process. We are proud to have worked in partnership in the run-up to election day, and continue to do during the post-election period.

Signed,

Pamoja for Transformation

Act Change Transform (ACT!)

Universities and Colleges Students Peace Association of Kenya (UCSPAK)

County Governance Watch

Local Capacities for Peace International (LCPI)

ChemiChemi ya Ukweli

PeaceNet

Amani Kibera

Saferworld

Life and Peace Institute

Handicap International

Mercy Corps

Chapter One