AFRICA/KENYA - Religious leaders: "Urgent political solutions to avoid the country plunging into violence"

Monday, 30 May 2016 politics   bishops   dialogue  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "The leading role of the two major political parties, especially the dispute around the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), is a threat to national peace, cohesion and unity of Kenyans", say the religious leaders of Kenya in a statement entitled "For the love of our Country, come and reason together".
The document, sent to Agenzia Fides, was signed at the end of a meeting held at the Little Daughters of St. Joseph Retreat Centre, Karen, which was attended by representatives of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops and all the major religions of the Country: National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF), Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), Hindu Council of Kenya (HCK), Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) and the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK).
According to the religious leader, the extreme polarization of national political life ahead of the 2017 general elections, requires "an urgent political solution to avert an imminent crisis that could complicate next year’s election and plunge the country into election violence".
A message of condolence was expressed to families of those who died in the demonstrations on May 23 held in different parts of Kenya by the opposition to demand the dissolution of the electoral commission, accused of not being impartial but favorable to incumbent President, Uhuru Kenyatta .
The religious leaders strongly urge the political coalitions and the opposition (CORD, which called off the demonstrations planned for May but has announced new demonstrations for the beginning of June), and reminds all political actors that "Kenyans will hold them accountable should the country slide back to anarchy because of unyielding competing political interests".
The message concludes by reaffirming the willingness of religious leaders to contribute to dialogue and national reconciliation. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/05/2016)