AFRICA/KENYA - Tensions awaiting the results of the vote. "Kenians want peace, I have faith that the violence which took place 10 years ago will not be repeated", says a missionary

Monday, 30 October 2017 elections   violence   politics   religious minorities  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "The situation is still quite alarming, though tension has calmed down a bit in the last few hours. Kenya is awaiting the results of the vote", says to Agenzia Fides Alfonso Poppi, Missionary of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of San Carlo Borromeo, from Nairobi where today the Independent Electoral Commission should comunicate the results of the repeat of the August 8th elections, which were nullified by the Supreme Court. The vote was held on October 26, but was boycotted by Raila Odinga, the rival candidate of outgoing President Uhru Kenyatta, while due to incidents between Odinga's supporters and the police, the vote was postponed in the counties of Kisumu, Migori, Siaya and Homa Bay.
The fear is that Kenya again falls into the violence of 2007/2008, when after the contested victory of then President Mwai Kibaki there were months of violent ethnic clashes that caused at least 1,100 dead and more than 600,000 internally displaced persons.
"I think, however, that people do not want to repeat the violence that occurred 10 years ago", says Fr. Alfonso. "Most people want peace because they understand that nothing is obtained with violence.
Everyone is waiting for a government that functions", he explains. "On the other hand, however, there are many unemployed young people who can be hired to sow chaos and violence".
"However, I am convinced that the majority of the population is aware of the danger of falling victim of the games of unscrupulous politicians who exploit the social malaise in order to provoke incidents. Therefore I do not think what happened 10 years ago will happen again. I saw, for example, that the governors where the elections were contested and where the most serious incidents occurred, took to the streets to speak to the people in order to calm them down". "Let's hope for peace. We are in God's hands", concludes the missionary.
While uncertainty of violence in Kenya remains, Agenzia Fides received the news of the death of His Exc. Mgr. Cornelius Korir, Bishop of Eldoret, 67 years of age, who in 2007/2008 had contributed to bringing peace in the North Rift. Archbishop Korir suddenly collapsed and was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where he died this morning. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 30/10/2017)