CRS Prays for Peace Ahead of Kenya’s Elections

As the March 4 national elections in Kenya grow nearer, CRS is urging all concerned to pray for peace as millions of Kenyans prepare to head to the polls.

In December 2007, disputed elections triggered wide-spread ethnic violence, killing more than 1,000 people and displacing some 300,000. CRS responded by providing food and supplies to displaced families and by supporting the peace and conciliation efforts of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops and other faith based networks.

“Kenya is at critical time in its history with an opportunity to either firmly demonstrate its national identity or regress into destructive tribalism. Never again does Kenya want to re-live the tragic experience of 2007,” said P.M. Jose, CRS’ Kenya Country Representative in Nairobi. “This is a time for Kenyans to assert – and be proud of – their identities as citizens of this great nation, one that believes in itself and in its institutions, while honoring their own ethnic identities.”

With some incidents of violence already reported in the run up to the vote, CRS is continuing support of the Kenyan Church and its other partners in their efforts to promote peace.

“The Church is an institution that welcomes members from all of Kenya’s tribes,” said Peter Kimeu, CRS’ partner relations advisor in Kenya. “As such, it can be an impartial player, a place where all can meet and, in an atmosphere of justice and mercy, discuss their differences and work toward resolution.”

In 2010, Kenya had a successful and peaceful vote on a new constitution that put in place the regulations governing this election, including provision for a runoff in April. CRS is asking our supporters in the United States and around the world to join in praying for peace in Kenya so that the 2013 elections and the transition to the new government will be peaceful.

CRS has been working in Kenya since 1965, working with local partners to serve some of the country’s poorest communities through a number of emergency and development programs.

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