Civil Society And Peace building In Kenya, (2008-2012)
The emergence and persistence of intra-state conflicts has necessitated diversification of actors to ensure effective resolution and management strategies aimed at peacebuilding. One of the actors engaged in peacebuilding is the civil society. The civil society in Kenya and elsewhere has been presented as working for the greater good of the people at the lowest level of society. This study examines the role and effectiveness of the civil society peacebuilding in Kenya with a focus on Nakuru County, against the tenets of the human needs theory specifically those touching on security, identity and wellbeing. The study contends that in order to assess the effectiveness of the civil society in peacebuilding, one must understand the causes of the conflict, the roles and challenges the civil society groups face. Nakuru County has been used as a case for this study because of its cosmopolitan population and that it has been experiencing conflicts, especially the violent type in almost all electoral cycles since the re-introduction of multipartyism in Kenya in 1991. Civil society activity has also been high in this County during the period under study. The study further argues that whereas the civil society has a role to play in peacebuilding particularly in service delivery, protection and advocacy, on the whole it has been ineffective because of failure to undertake the most relevant role during the most appropriate phase of the conflict cycle. However, the civil society has been effective in respect of specific roles such as advocacy. The study argues on the need for collaboration between the state actors and the civil society because the civil society plays more of a supportive role than a substantive one in peacebuilding.