Villains or victims?

by Dr Alan Channer

‘Children who are constantly indoctrinated and faced with war don't grow up normally.’ Ali said.  ‘Society abandons them. The result is non-peaceful adults.  They end up in jail for delinquency. "Are they villains or victims?"’ 

‘Boys as young as 10 are indoctrinated and forced to watch violent videos to prepare them to be terrorists.’

Ali concluded that, ‘Adults involved or affected by conflict and violence will not be able to manage families or function well in society.  Without psycho-social help and healing, a cycle of violence is perpetuated.’

Mukhtar Ogle, Senior Advisor on Strategic Initiatives for Arid and Semi-arid Lands in the Executive Office of the President of Kenya, then spoke on ‘Policy and strategic interventions: a government perspective’.

He told of the pioneering Dialogue Platforms he has facilitated across Kenya together with Rev Sam Kobia. 

‘It is business unusual. We are like social doctors,’ Ogle said.  ‘The Dialogue Platforms are the only unit in government that gives a platform to civil society…  and the results have been very encouraging’. 

‘Solutions come from within,’ he added. ‘There is no dignity in violence.  Healing starts when people engage….’  

Canon Grace Kaiso from Uganda commended the Kenyan government for the progressive policy of creating space for dialogue and conflict prevention processes.