AFRICA/KENYA - Religious leaders denounce the formation of militias "who sow violence" ahead of elections

Friday, 1 April 2016

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "We appeal to all politicians with their vested interests to cease making elections a matter of life and death for Kenyans", say the religious leaders of Kenya in a statement on the preparation of the next general election of 2017, sent to Fides. "It is immoral and sinful for anyone who is seeking a position to casually posit that Kenyans can die and be maimed just so that they achieve their political ambitions", continues the statement of the Inter Religious Council of Kenya, which comprises the Episcopal Conference of Kenya as well as several other Christian, Muslim and Hindu denominations in the country.
The religious leaders also denounce the creation of militias in anticipation of the election: "We are especially disgusted that politicians and aspirants at different levels are creating militias whose sole intent is to visit violence on Kenyans. This must be stopped forthwith. We especially urge you to begin preaching and practicing peace rather than creating structures for violence", urged the religious leaders.
Social media is awash with messages aimed at stoking ethnic prejudices and balkanization. The statement also refers to the responsibilities of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC), calling it to establish a clear register of voters and to check the proper functioning of the electronic devices that will be used at polling stations, as those used in previous elections "failed miserably". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/04/2016)