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CURRENT ISSUE:  February 4, 2008
VOL. 46, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Alameda's St. Barnabas School to close in June
AfghanistanÍs Kabul divided by extreme poverty, great wealth
Prayers for Christian Unity
Mob kills priest in Kenya
amid growing violence

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) — A mob brutally killed a priest of the Diocese of Nakuru in Kenya’s Rift Valley amid continuing post-election violence which has pitted rival ethnic gangs against each other.

Father Michael Kamau, 42, was killed on a Rift Valley road Jan. 26 because the mob reportedly was avenging a death in their community.
Kikuyu tribe members point sticks at people belonging to the Luo tribe Jan. 28 during ethnic clashes in Naivasha, 37 miles outside the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Deadly violence continues following a disputed presidential election in late December.

As the violence continued Jan. 28, the personnel from the Diocese of Nakuru worked to evacuate church workers trapped in the violence, reported the Catholic Information Service for Africa, a missionary news agency in Africa.

Father John Mbaraka, a local priest, told Catholic News Service that Father Kamau was a member of the Kikuyu ethnic community and that his attackers were most likely of the Kalenjin ethnic community.

Father Mbaraka said Father Kamau knew his attackers because he used to pay their children’s school fees when he was a parish priest in the Diocese of Eldoret.

“It is sad that religious people are killed. We are appealing for Kibaki and Raila to address the impending problems in the country,” said Father Mbaraka, referring to Kenya President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Odinga Raila.

More than 800 people have died and more than 250,000 have been forced from their homes since the Dec. 27 presidential election, in which Kibaki was declared the winner. International observers have claimed the election was rigged. Kibaki is a Kikuyu, the tribe that has dominated Kenya’s political and economic life since independence from Britain in 1963.

Father Kamau, vice rector of St. Matthias Mulumba Major Seminary, was to celebrate 15 years as a priest Jan. 30.

Cardinal John Njue of Nairobi, president of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, condemned the killing of Father Kamau, saying Jan. 27 that it was unfortunate police have not apprehended those behind the recent killings.

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