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Kenya leaders talk peace but violence doesn’t stop

ICC Note

There have been a number of attacks against churches in Kenya following the dispute on presidential election. The attacks against church, including the one that happened toady, should be investigated thoroughly and the attackers should be brought before justice.

By David Lewis

February 2, 2008 Kenya (iht)-Youths burned hundreds of homes in a town in Kenya’s Rift Valley on Saturday, sending residents fleeing with all they could carry, despite an agreement between feuding politicians to end weeks of bloodshed.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan brokered a deal between Kenya’s rival parties on Friday to take immediate steps to end post-election violence which has killed nearly 900 people and displaced more than a quarter of a million.

But on Saturday, huge flames soared over slum dwellings in the Rift Valley town of Kericho . Residents dragged out mattresses, cupboards, suitcases and pots and pans, piling them onto carts as they tried to escape the unrest.

“They say these buildings belong to a Kikuyu so they are burning them to tell them to go away,” said Victor Kemboi, one Kericho resident, as shacks smouldered behind him.

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Church Burned

Near the town of Eldoret further north, a mob surrounded the Great Harvest Evangelical Church , where at least two people were sheltering, and burned it to the ground. A witness said those inside managed to escape unharmed.

“I don’t know who it was, but they broke the gate and came in. The pastor’s a Kikuyu, the plot belongs to a Kikuyu. Maybe that has something to do with it,” said Peter Kaguru, charred beams and bricks smouldering behind him.

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Pressure on the two sides to reach a deal is intense both from within Kenya and from the international community.

“Both parties now face a historic responsibility: choose dialogue or bear responsibility for a political and human catastrophe,” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a statement this week.

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