Bridge of Hope met with the Kenyan National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) this week as part of a fact finding mission organised by the Transitional Justice Institute team at University of Ulster.
The meeting was scheduled so that the Kenyan delegation could find out more about Bridge of Hope’s work and especially its grassroots based transitional justice programme. Meeting the team were Eilish Rooney and Dr Louise Mallinder from TJI and Irene Sherry and Áine Magee of Ashton Community Trust.
The NCIC’s mandate is to facilitate and promote equality of opportunity, good relations, harmony and peaceful coexistence between persons of different ethnic and racial backgrounds in Kenya and to advise the government.
The delegation discussed their country’s experiences of conflict and also the publication of Kenya’s Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission final report. The May 2013 TJRC report found evidence of gross violations of human rights, economic crimes, illegal acquisition of public land, marginalisation of communities and ethnic violence between 1963 and 2008. The commission has made findings of responsibility against a large number of persons, some of whom are senior in the Kenyan government. It also calls on the Kenyan government to provide reparations to victims of historical injustices.
Irene Sherry, Head of Victims Services at Ashton Community Trust said the meeting was highly informative and productive.
“The Kenyan experience of transitional justice and how they are currently rebuilding their country in the aftermath of severe ethnic violence is very impressive and there is much we can learn about their pathways to reconciliation. We were delighted that the delegation asked to meet with us and that the TJI facilitated the visit. We wish the delegation a safe journey home and wish them every success in their important work.”