Mombasa, KENYA: Religious leaders based at the coast have pledged to fight radicalization, and any form of ethnic and religious intolerance.
Speaking during the launch of the 2016-2021 strategic plan by the Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics Trust on Wednesday, the religious leaders from the different religions in the coast region stated they would use intra faith and interfaith methods to resolve and prevent conflicts.
The program launched at the Bombululu workshop and cultural centre in Mombasa, will see the CICC clerics monitor, document and analyze conflict trends in the country in order to decide on which is the appropriate method to respond.
Father Wilybard Lago who is the chairperson of the CICC told reporters that they were aiming at creating unity among the different communities in the coastal counties.
Fr Lago also acknowledged that the CICC had played a great role in promoting peace in Mombasa county, since the religious tensions started like the ones experienced after the murder of controversial muslim cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo.
“Honestly speaking were it not for the CICC we would not be where we are today in terms of peace in Coastal Kenya ,”he said.
However he acknowledged that tribal politics and politicians using money during campaigns were posing as great challenges to national cohesion.
“One of the greatest challenges to national cohesion is tribal politics and use of money during political campaigns ,” he said.
Lago further called on Kenyans to avoid voting under the influence of religious and tribal affiliations, but instead vote based on a person’s leadership values.
“If you vote based on religious and tribal affiliations you will be letting our country down.Vote for a person based on his leadership values,’’ he added.
Sheikh Ibrahim Shahib the CICC Lamu west representative called on the government to properly investigate terror suspects before apprehending them.
The coast region has been a flashpoint in religious and ethnic tensions in the past.