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Catholic political leader murdered in Kenyan upheaval

ICC Note

Mr. Mr. Melitus Were was working for peaceful resolution of Kenyan political crisis. He was gunned down near his home.

Jan 29, 2008 Kenya (CNA) – A Catholic opposition politician is one of the latest victims of the Kenyan violence that began after contested elections in December, the Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) reports.

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Were, a former student at Kiserian Seminary in Nairobi , helped found the National Catholic Youth Center in Nairobi in December of 1988. He studied social communications at the Gregorian in Rome and later worked with disadvantaged youth in a suburb of Nairobi .

A close friend of Were described him to CISA as an intelligent and hardworking activist who defended Catholic teaching. The friend said that Were had made enemies in the course of his activism, even receiving death threats.

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Were’s belonged to the political party called the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The head of ODM, Raila Odinga, has been the most vocal opponent of President Mwai Kibaki, claiming that the recent voting keeping Kibaki in office was rigged.

Odinga called Melitus Were’s killing “an assassination targeted at reducing the party’s majority in Parliament. We ask our supporters to mourn Were peacefully.

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