14 March 2017

Kenya: Religious Leaders Pray for Peace, Hunger in West Pokot

More than 500 religious leaders from the North Rift Region have held peace prayers at Murkwijit in West Pokot County following rampant insecurity and hunger in the region.

This comes as hundreds of residents face huge challenges due to starvation and armed conflict being witnessed among pastoral communities in the region.

They clerics expressed concern over insecurity and hunger and called on the pastoralists to shun conflict and co-exist peacefully.

They petitioned politicians to carry out peaceful campaigns ahead of the August general elections.

Under the banner of Pokot Pastors Network, the leaders called on the North Rift residents to shun hostilities.

The leaders observed that insecurity has derailed development and said that there is need for political and religious leaders from the warring communities to preach unity.

AVOID CHAOS

They cautioned politicians to desist from incitement, hate speech and uttering inflammatory statements that could plunge the country into chaos.

Led by Pastor Ronald Chumum, the clerics promised to root out bad leadership and corruption in the country.

"We don't want a repeat of 2008 (post-election violence). Political parties should shun violence. We declare peaceful elections in 2017. Kenyans should shun taking sides. We as religious leaders represent all," said Pastor Chumum.

He Chumum condemned the killings witnessed in the region urging the government to bring communities together through dialogue.

HUNGER

Bishop Meshack Madekwa of Eldoret Deliverance Church urged political leaders to repent and shun politics of hatred and bloodshed.

They called on well-wishers to help those affected by hunger.

The prayer meeting was attended by West Pokot Senator John Lonyangapuo and former Cabinet minister Samuel Poghisio who called for unity and peace among residents.

Prof Lonyangapuo urged leaders from neighbouring counties to join in efforts to preach peace in the region.

"Turkana leaders should work with us to ensure peace prevails. The clergy should pray for political leaders," he said.

Mr Poghisio asked religious leaders to pray for politicians.

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