"SITUATION ON THE GROUND
Kenyans continues to appeal to all humanitarian organizations, religious organizations and well wishers to step in and assist many Kenyans who are in dire need of basic necessities such as food, clothing, bedding, medication and sanitation facilities.
♦ Internally Displaced persons (IDP’s) who had been stranded in Eldoret as a result of barricaded roads were given police andmilitary escort and evacuated to Nakuru on Saturday 5th January 2008. However some are still stranded in Eldoret while the need for humanitarian assistance has gone up in Nakuru. The displaced are camped at Nakuru show ground.
♦ In the Coast Province, Internally displaced persons are seeking shelter at MoiInternational Airport football ground in Changamwe and in various areas in Mombasa.
♦ People evicted from their homes in Saboti, constituency, Transmara are starving and need food and other basic commodities. The displaced are camping at Kiungani, Kiminini, Sihendu, Liungani, and Kitale police station.
♦ About 100 people have been camping at Juja Police station since 5th January 2008 after receiving threatening leaflets. Several families from Gitambaya village have been camping at Ruiru Prison.
Estimated 1,500 people have been stranded at Burnt Forest, at the junction to Kapsabet near the GSU post. They are calling for humanitarian assistance.
♦ Over 5,400 Kenyans have fled to Uganda escaping the violence in Western andNyanza provinces. There is an appeal for their safety in Uganda.
♦ Over 150 displaced persons are still stuck at Siaya Police station due to crisis of public transportation.
♦ Lugari DC quoted that a total of 21,000 people are displaced and taking refuge at Lumakanda, Lugari and Turbo areas.
♦ Over 10,000 people have been safely evacuated from Eldoret to Nakuru and other safer places under police and military escort. There are also efforts to rescue people affected in Keiyo, Marakwet and Nandi in North Rift Region.
♦ Community mediators are working on conflict resolution strategies in Uasin Gishu to assist in addressing the situation. A crisis response group has been formed in North Rift (Eldoret) headed by Bishop Cornelius Korir to coordinate humanitarian and safety interventions
♦ In Nairobi, religious leaders have called on all stakeholders to promote peace at this crucial time in the history of Kenya.
♦ Bishop Desmond Tutu visited the country and expressed the need for mediation and reconciliation. He met Hon. Raila Odinga and the President Mwai Kibaki individually between 3rd and 4th December 2008.
♦ Nine media houses issued a joint statement through the Media Council of Kenya and dedicated 1 hour national prayers for the country on Sunday 6th January 2008 which was aired simultaneously by media houses. Different religious leaders interceded for peace and prayed for people suffering physically and emotionally across the country.
♦ The World Food Programme has released 670 tonnes of food as a humanitarian response to the current crisis.
♦ The Kenya Red Cross has since distributed 124 tonnes of food to the displaced in Eldoret.
- Peace in the nation
- Peace talks to continue and lasting solutions agreed upon
- God’s wisdom to leaders and mediators to make the right decisions for the
- Healing and reconciliation at the community level i.e. peaceful co- existence
- Support for the affected to resume normal lives
- Security in the nation
- Learning institutions- travel safety for the students, availability of finances for
- school needs and requirements.
Various agencies of the Church have offered aid: Episcopal Relief and Development. and Anglican Relief and Development Fund (the Network relief arm) are both involved by way of various agencies in Kenya.
I am sure there are agencies in England and elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, and I hope friends will post contact points there. Where ever you are in Anglican Land there is some agency through which you can give for relief.
Bishop David Gitari, Bishop in Kenya now retired gave a fascinating interview strongly criticizing the silence of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Kenya. You can read it HERE.
The Moderator of the Network, Bishop Duncan, has weighed in HERE. He says, "The Church of Kenya serves as spiritual home to almost 5 million Anglican Christians spread across nearly all of Kenya’s tribal groups. Because this conflict has a strong tribal component, pray in particular that Kenyan Anglicans can maintain their unity even as their tribes clash. We are encouraged by reports from bishop Bill Atwood, that the church not only consistently speaks out against tribalism, it has passed canon laws to forbid it within the church. "
Bishops Duncan and Atwood seem to have a more positive sense of the role of the Anglican Church of Kenya and its Primate than Bishop Gitari has. I hope the Moderator is right. I have some doubts that canon law forbidding tribalism has any weight on the ground.
I have visited the Church in Kenya in the past and have been very impressed with ACK's work. While aware of the testy nature of the relationship between ACK and the Episcopal Church it is my hope that none of that will interfere with the drive by all parties to give aid to those in need and prayer for peace and restoration of stable democratic process. As usual the situation on the ground is complex and increasingly difficult. We need to take our lead from Kenyans devoted to community reconciliation and peace.