Thursday, February 28, 2008

Peace efforts in Kenya - Wed 2/27/2008

Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Africa Unscrambled: Kenya's quieter peace efforts
By Steve Bloomfield

I've just got back to Nairobi after spending a few days travelling through Ethiopia (about which I'll be writing tomorrow).

While I've been away the negotiations between government and opposition appear to have stalled. But while the country's leaders have been struggling to find common ground, thousands of others across the country have decided not to wait for them.

A wave of peace movements has spread over the past few weeks, mainly led by the country's growing middle class.

Groups like Concerned Citizens for Peace and PeaceNet Kenya have been coordinating almost daily events. The latest, in conjunction with Sarakasi, the region's largest performing arts organisation appears to involve 200 acrobats from Nairobi's slums.

Kenyan bloggers have been at the forefront of the peace efforts. When one of the country's most popular web forums was overtaken by some vicious tribal sniping, a group of bloggers set up a new forum, "I Have No Tribe" which encourages Kenyans from across the world to post positive messages of reconciliation.

And Kenyan bloggers have also come up with one of the most effective ways of tracking the country's violence, "witness" in Kiswahili, has recorded hundreds of riots, killings and rapes in the past two months. As much as the country yearns for a peaceful solution, few want to forget what has happened since the start of the year.

Posted at 07:00 AM in Africa Unscrambled Permalink

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