Overcoming sectarian divides in coastal Kenya
Along the coastal region of Kenya there are long-held sectarian divisions between Muslim and Christian communities around issues such as land rights, distribution of political power and access to the economic benefits that flow from Mombasa’s port. Recently, these tensions have been made worse by Kenya’s involvement in the conflict in Somalia and the heavy-handed tactics of Kenya’s law enforcement agencies. Extremist groups exploit these tensions, attempting to drive a further wedge between communities by promoting violence and separatism as the only solutions to their grievances.
We aimed to create an intervention which could bring these communities together to constructively discuss peaceful, practical and non-sectarian solutions to their grievances and to identify ways in which communities themselves could challenge extremist narratives and recruitment tactics.