WCC chief calls for a negotiated settlement in Kenya

By staff writers
January 3, 2008

World Council of Churches' general secretary the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia has called on the leaders of Kenya's two main political parties to "turn urgently from partisan postures and negotiate in good faith to reach a non-violent, political solution" to the country's electoral dispute.

In a statement made public on 2 January 2008, Dr Kobia affirmed that "an independent investigation of the electoral dispute is necessary and should be monitored by international observers".

While the disputed result of the recent presidential election has led to an explosion of violence that has already killed around 300 people, the WCC general secretary, a Kenyan himself, called the political leaders to "put the interests of the nation and the surrounding region above other concerns".

The statement also calls on the churches of Kenya to "do their part in pursuing the common good of their communities and country" by fulfilling their role "in ensuring respect for human life and seeking reconciliation between neighbours".

This is something "especially urgent amid ominous signs of ethnically targeted hatred and violence", affirmed Dr Kobia.

The statement appeals to churches across the world to provide humanitarian aid through ecumenical partners in Kenya to communities affected by the violence.

The World Council of Churches is an ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948 and bringing together 347 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries. It works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

The full text of the WCC statement on post-election violence in Kenya can be found here: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=5493

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