Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, has made another appeal for peace and dialogue in Kenya following recent violence and disturbances in the wake of the country's presidential elections.
In a Letter, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and addressed to Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi and president of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, the Pontiff gives assurances "of his prayers that this great tragedy will soon come to an end", and expresses his sense of closeness to victims of the violence.
The English-language letter continues: "It is [the Pope]'s heartfelt hope that this beloved nation, whose experience of social tranquillity and development represents an element of stability in the entire troubled region, will banish as quickly as possible the threat of ethnic conflict".
Benedict "pleads for an immediate end to acts of violence and fratricidal conflict" and "appeals to political leaders, who are responsible for the common good", inviting them "to embark resolutely on the path of peace and justice, since the country needs peace that is based on justice and brotherhood. He encourages them to resolve the present difficulties through dialogue and democratic debate".