After the repeal of Section 2A of the Constitution of Kenya in 1992, Kenya started experiencing skirmishes which led to violent clashes in some parts of the country and the Coast province was not spared. The coast region was worst hit in 1997 during the Likoni clashes where the affected people sought refuge in churches and mosques. Coast Peace Initiative (C.P.I), a local civil society network was formed to coordinate relief and support mechanisms for the victims. Some of the lessons learnt during this intervention were that the clashes were not only resource based but also politically instigated.

 

The government’s efforts to address the issue were not appreciated by the local communities as they were perceived to be partisan. The efforts of civil society on their own could not contain the situation either. One of the key lesson learnt was that people had strong faith and trust in the voice of their religious leaders.   Hence, C.P.I organized consultative meetings with the top religious leaders in the region to intervene. The religious leaders intervened through fact finding mission to the clash zones after which their reports were shared with the government and appropriate measures put in place to resolve the conflicts.

 

As a result of this successful intervention, Coast Peace Initiative appreciated the efforts of religious leaders in conflict transformation. This led to the formation of an Inter-religious leader’s council known as Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics in 2001, with an aim of promoting enduring peace in the region.

 

The importance of CICC was further reinforced by the effects of the September 11th 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center in America. This incident was a wakeup call on inter-religious tensions between Muslims and Christians.   CICC has ever since been in the forefront in bringing better understanding of inter-religious relations among communities living at the coast Region.

 

Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics is fully committed to the interfaith principles and values and will continuously monitor, evaluate and address interfaith related issues using existing networks and leaderships i.e. Mosques, Churches, Shrines and Temples.