Centre to monitor violence during campaigns set up in Isiolo

Isiolo Police Station where there is a joint security command center

Isiolo Police Station where a joint security command center has been established. Besides monitoring electoral activities on a 24-hour basis, it will promptly respond to early warnings.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

A joint security command centre has been established in Isiolo to handle electoral conflicts and other emerging issues in the region during the electioneering period.

Supported by the World Peace Service through Isiolo Peace Link, the centre will, besides monitoring electoral activities on a 24-hour basis, promptly respond to early warnings by documenting and offering necessary action to prevent escalation of violence.

Isiolo is among 23 counties which the National Cohesion and Integration Commission has put on alert for possible electoral-related violence in the August elections.

Others include Nairobi, Kericho, Lamu, Bungoma, Kisumu, Marsabit, Nandi, Bomet, Kirinyaga, Siaya, Garissa, Kiambu, Nyamira, Homa Bay, Vihiga, Kakamega, Murang’a, Migori and Trans Nzoia.

Women situation room

The centre at the Isiolo Police Station also has a women situation room for handling gender-related issues such as violence during campaigns and elections.

Senior Assistant County Commissioner Samuel Gichohi said the centre was established following recommendations by security stakeholders among them religious leaders, civil societies and state and non-state agents.

“The centre will monitor and address electoral issues and respond to early warnings,” he said during a joint committee meeting at the station.

County Police Commander Hassan Barua appealed to residents to take advantage of the centre, assuring them that all reported cases will be handled with utmost confidentiality.

“Let them share the alerts to concerned officers or senior police officers at the station and not junior officers,” he said while responding to reports that information shared to police was being leaked to public, threatening the lives of the informants.

Isiolo Interfaith Network Secretary Stephen Kalunyu said they will as religious leaders continue preaching peace in churches and mosques for peaceful campaigns and elections.

Ensure peaceful campaigns

“There is need for all of us to join hands and ensure peace during the electioneering period,” Mr Kalunyu said.

Stressing that politicians should be involved in security forums and activities, Ms Grace Lolim of the Isiolo Gender Watch asked them to shun name-calling and engage in issue-based politics during campaigns for a united county.

She called for gender-related issues to be given priority at the command centre.

“Politicians should do their meetings with decorum and avoid holding meetings close to those of their opponents to prevent supporters from clashing,” she said.


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