Youth in peacebuilding in Kenya's North Region: a case study of Burnt Forest, 1992-2010
This research focused on the role of youth in peacebuilding in Burnt Forest region of Uasin Gishu County. The study tries to change the tendency of disproportionately placing the burdens of war and violence on youths. Instead it avers that the youth occupy important institutions in the society and are understood as unique contributors, indeed, likely leaders, of successful peacebuilding efforts, and they are infact the primary enablers of social change. The research begins with an examination and analysis of the relations of communities living in Burnt Forest and the reasons for the conflict. This provides a background to the need for peacebuilding efforts and role of youths in these efforts. The study was carried out among the heterogenous Kenyan communities living in Burnt Forest; it explored the people who live in Kiambaa village, Rurigi farm, Rukoine farm, Nyakinywa farm, Kimurnu farm, Ngeria location, Kesses and Burnt Forest town. The study aimed to test three hypotheses, first, that the youth were active participants in peace building in the Burnt Forest, secondly that the youth participation in peace building in Burnt Forest caused positive peace and thirdly that the military youth engagement in post-conflict reconstruction contributed to positive peace in Burnt Forest. As detailed in this study the youth including School going children are actively involved in peacebuilding through their activities which are meant to, among others, building relationships and reconciliation. These activities range from youth choirs, sports, welfare groupings, reconstruction and peace think tanks. Another significant element of youth involvement in peacebuilding that the study brings on board is the military youths. The study reckons that most of the military who were involved in reconstruction in Burnt Forest are Youths. Reconstruction activities of roads, bridges and medical campaign were significant in peacebuilding. Furthermore the military operations in the entire region of North rift pacified the region for peace building. The study concludes that youth involvement in peace building is sine-qua-non in the entire spectrum of peace studies.
University of Nairobi, Kenya