Interpeace’s partner in Kenya, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), was established to help build lasting peace in Kenya following the 2008 post-election crisis. The crisis was caused by disputed presidential elections in December 2007, which caused deadly violence, mainly perpetrated along ethnic lines. The NCIC is a government agency mandated to foster lasting peace and cohesion between Kenya’s various ethnic communities. Interpeace and the NCIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2014, formalizing a partnership that enabled them to collaborate on the Mandera pilot programme. The partnership has made it possible for Interpeace to share more than two decades of peacebuilding experience with the NCIC.
The security situation in Mandera County, where Interpeace has implemented a peacebuilding initiative since 2016, has improved despite intermittent clan clashes and small-scale cross border terror attacks that exacerbate an already fragile environment. The terror attacks are mostly perpetrated by the Somali militant group Al Shabaab, which is opposed to Kenyan military involvement in Somalia. In 2017, the NCIC and Interpeace published a report, based on the findings of a consultation process to establish the challenges to peace in Mandera County, as perceived by the local communities of the County, entitled: Voices of the People: Challenges to Peace in Mandera County.
In a recent report entitled: “Footprints of Peace: Consolidating National Cohesion in a Devolved Kenya 2014-2018” the NCIC recommended the adaptation of the PAR approach and lessons learned from the Mandera programme as a model for locally owned and locally driven peacebuilding architectures in all the 47 counties of Kenya. In 2018 Interpeace and NCIC consequently conducted a rapid fragility and resilience assessment in the Wajir and North Rift regions of Kenya, since these regions face significant peace and security challenges. This resulted to scaling up of the peacebuilding approach in 2019, in the Kerio valley across the county borders of Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and Samburu.