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Kenyans pray for peace ahead of the polls

Catholic international aid charity CAFOD has called for a peaceful election when Kenyans go to the polls next week.

Kenya was crippled by post-election violence in in 2007 and 2008 when the results were contested and violence spilled out on to the streets.

According to the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, the violence led to more than 600,000 people being made homeless; and more than 1,100 killed.

Catherine Ogolla, CAFOD’s Country Representative, based in Nairobi said: "The Kenyan people need a sustained commitment to peace, democracy and good governance which can only be achieved through peaceful and transparent elections.

"These are no ordinary elections; the world is watching and, we cannot afford for the social fabric of Kenyan society to be ripped apart again by violence."

The north of Kenya is currently facing a devastating drought; due to three consecutive seasons of insufficient rains which have led to complete decimation of livestock, leaving more than 2.6 million people, struggling to feed themselves.

CAFOD’s local aid workers are responding to humanitarian needs but are concerned that any election violence will hamper their emergency aid efforts.

Ogolla said: "Our local aid workers are working around the clock to ensure that communities have the emergency aid they need before and after the elections.

"At the same time, we are rebuilding the resilience of communities, so that they can better cope in future droughts. Any violence can undermine this vital work."

CAFOD’s partner, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a pastoral letter issued on 28th July 2017, urged politicians to refrain from ’hate speech’ and for Kenyans to resist and reject any form of incitement.

"We note with appreciation, the relatively peaceful manner in which campaigns have been conducted. We urge all the candidates to continue conducting themselves with decorum and sobriety the remaining stretch of the campaigns, in order to achieve cohesion and National integration.

"We appeal to the youth to restrain themselves from violence and instead be the agents of peace."

Kenyans will be heading to the polls to elect a President, County Governor, Senator, Member of Parliament, Woman Representative, and Member of County Assembly.


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