The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Counsel Tana Violence Victims, State Urged

THE government has been urged to put in place a trauma counselling programme for the Tana Delta fighting victims. A peace trainer Said Ilu said this will supplement the peace meetings to bring healing and reconciliation in the region.

"Holding peace meetings will never bring any healing to the people, who were affected in the Tana clashes. We have already signed so many peace agreements, but there is nothing happening in people's hearts," he said.

"We saw terrible scenes and what we want is trauma healing so that we can be able to forgive one another. If I am traumatised you can't tell me about peace."

Speaking to the Star yesterday, Ilu said the government needs to start development projects in the Tana to help change the people's lifestyle.

"What we need now in Tana is development projects, which will enable us to use our energy positively. Let the government put us in small groups and fund us," he said.

Ilu, who is a Tana clash victim, advised the communities to co-exist. "Personally, I had no place in my heart to forgive and forget. But now after I was trained on what it takes to forgive, I have known that no one can live alone. We need each other and we must co-exist," he said.

He advised the residents to shun those who incite them to fight each other. "We do not want to be used by some people who do not have our interests at heart. What we need to know is that peace and love is what we must uphold and that should be the responsibility of every one of us," he said.

He said the recurring violence is retarding development in the area. "Killing your brother, sister, mother, father, child or a friend is not a blessing. It will never be a blessing. We must stop this," he advised.

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