By Joel Mzanta
Muslim Communities in Lamu county are mounting efforts to establish alternative conflict resolution mechanisms aimed at curbing revenge killings among youths within the archipelago.
Led by Muslims for Human Rights alongside clerics from Pate, Kizingitini, Faza, Tchundwa, Mbwajumwali and Rasini villages have revealed that plans are underway to establish the alternative resolution mechanisms to avert killings of youth that have plagued the Island for years.
Addressing the Media at a stakeholder’s forum Imam Yusuf Mohammed blamed the influx of drugs and unemployment for the revenge killings taking centre stage.
“There is need for all stakeholders to acknowledge the only way to tackle insecurity in the area, is by resolving the issue through reconciliation forums that aim to getting the root cause rather than arresting of those who commit the crimes,” the cleric stated
Sentiments echoed by Mohammed Abadi, a Faza based cleric who stated that there is need to conduct a door to door household campaign for parents embrace the alternative conflict resolution mechanisms.
“Revenge Killings and even rampant drug abuse can only be resolved if parents play a more critical role in upbringing their children,” Abadi said.
MUHURI Lamu programme officer Mohammed Skanda revealed that plans are already underway to institute the conflict resolution mechanisms in which his organization will also collaborate with the national government and the clerics to curb social vices afflicting the area.
“The alternative conflict resolution forums will bring differing parties together with the aim of resolving conflicts in a bid to stop them from degenerating further along family blood lines,” Skanda said.
Among those who have lost their lives due to revenge killings are Mbwajumwali location area chief and his assistant as well as a Kenya Red Cross worker Amina Bakari who lost their lives three years ago in separate incidents.
In Mbwajumwali, Faza, Tchundwa many deaths have been as a result of revenge on miss information by even administrators.
Lamu County Commissioner Macharia Irungu lauded the move stating that the forums would aid in residents taking ownership over the problems afflicting their society.
He said the mediation forums would also provide platform through which differences among differing parties can be ironed out with the aim of stemming cyclic revenge killings that have afflicted Lamu East for long.