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Expression of sympathy on the death of 14 Kenyan officials

11 April 2006

Letter to H.E. Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya, 11 April, 2006

Your Excellency,

The World Council of Churches is deeply distressed by the death of 14 Kenyan
officials including prominent Kenyan politicians, travelling to Marsabit in the
northern part of the country.

This sudden tragedy is heart-wrenching because these eminent leaders of the government
and the opposition political party in Kenya were on a mission to restore
peace and harmony between two communities in the North Eastern Province. Their
mission was a noble undertaking in collaboration with the Church in Kenya, represented
by Bishop William Waqo of the Anglican Communion. I have fond memories
of him and of his passion for peace in the region. We met recently in Porto
Alegre, Brazil, where he represented the Kenyan Church. We hope and pray their
efforts will not go in vain and the peace they sought will be achieved. They will be
remembered in our history as courageous sons of Kenya who pursued peace and reconciliation
despite all difficulties. The most fitting tribute to them is for the parties
to the conflict to agree immediately to make peace and live in reconciled communities.

As a Kenyan myself I will do whatever it might take to achieve that goal.
In the circumstances, it is not surprising this tragic news was received by Your
Excellency with "shock and disbelief". The country has lost important and dedicated
members of the political establishment including assistant ministers Mirugi
Kariuki and Titus Ngoyoni, deputy leader of the opposition Bonaya Gondana,
and three other members of Parliament.

We welcome the initiative of Your Excellency to deploy ministers of your government
and other officials to immediately rush to the site of the crash to streamline
rescue operations and to recover the bodies of those who died in the crash.

At this critical time we remember the government and people of Kenya in our
prayers as they endeavour to come to grips with this unforeseen tragedy. We offer
our condolences to the bereaved families as well as our sympathies to the families
of the survivors.

May God help them to find strength in recovery and consolation in bearing their loss.

Assuring you of our prayers and sympathy,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary

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