23 Jun

Webinar: Securitization of COVID-19 Response

Organized by:Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law; Search for Common Ground

Implications for Human Security in Kenya and the Horn of Africa


Most authorities across the world have relied on security forces to enforce pandemic restrictions, with some countries over-relying on a securitized approach. This approach puts security actors in high-stress, close-contact situations with civilians for which police or military sometimes lack adequate de-escalation training. Violent enforcement or perceived unequal treatment by security forces can create deep schisms which can take a long time to repair. Since effective security engagement rests on trust between security actors and civilian populations, worsened relations can drive future insecurity. This is especially pertinent in Kenya which has one of the highest number of deaths in the world from security trying to enforce lockdowns  and where securitized responses from a decade of fighting al-Shabaab across the Horn have weakened trust between civilians and governments. In this webinar, Search for Common Ground (Search) will discuss how its peacebuilding approach enables an effective COVID-19 response by building trust between communities, community leaders, security forces and governments.


  1. Explore the impact of securitized responses to COVID-19 on local and regional dynamics in Kenya and the Horn of Africa.
  2. Explore opportunities for community security in responses to the pandemic - including civilian-led enforcement of health measures, such as municipal authorities overseeing quarantines.
  3. Discuss how to build ‘whole-of-society’ partnerships around security sector engagement in COVID-19 related measures.


Judy Kimamo, Director Search for Common Ground, Horn of Africa

Charline Burton, Executive Director Search for Common Ground, Europe


Moderated by Megan Price, Head of Office, KPSRL


Registration for this event is now closed. Please e-mail info@kpsrl.org if you have any questions. You can view the recording of the webinar below.

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