A two-day Karamoja Women for Peace-building Networking Meeting organized by the Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) of IGAD in collaboration with PACT/PEACE II Programme and USAID/EA Kicks off today in Eldoret Town, Kenya. The meeting that brings together up to 60 grassroots women from the Karamoja Cluster (an area that covers the cross-border areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda) will serve as a forum to consult on enhancing the role of women in peace building efforts in the Cluster.
Since its inception in 2002, CEWARN has been committed to a gender-sensitive focus in its conflict prevention and mitigation efforts of cross-border pastoral and related conflicts in the IGAD sub-region. Accordingly, the forum that brings together women Members of Parliament, representatives of national Conflict Early Warning and Response Units (CEWERUs) and civil society organizations as well as women activists from Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda will help to better understand the situation of women in relation to violent conflicts in the Cluster. It is also expected to come up with recommendations on how to enhance women's role in all aspects of CEWARN's peace building efforts.
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Development of the Republic of Kenya Hon. Esther Murugi will participate as a Guest of Honor and patron of the event. Senior officials from CEWARN, PACT and USAID/EA including the CEWARN Acting Director Mr. Raymond Kitevu will also be present at the meeting.
Through its national network of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, CEWARN has been undertaking its conflict early warning and response work in three clusters. These are the Karamoja Cluster, the Somali Cluster (that covers cross-border areas of Ethiopia and Kenya) and the Dikhil Cluster (that covers cross-border areas of Djibouti and Ethiopia).
CEWARN's key achievements so far also include its vital role in bringing to light the extent of violence due to cross-border pastoral and related conflicts in the IGAD sub-region. It also continues to play an instrumental role in supporting national and cross-border peace building efforts of IGAD Member States to improve the peace and security situation in the region.