Kenyan Catholic Bishops condemn Shopping Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi

23 September 2013

Bishops distributing aid in Nairobi

Bishops distribute aid after the Westgate shopping centre attack in Nairobi, Kenya

In a statement signed on behalf of the Kenya Bishops Conference by the Nairobi Catholic Auxiliary Bishop, David Kamau, the bishops, “condemn the unwarranted attacks on the helpless people and residents of Kenya.”

“As a nation we share in the trauma of our brothers and sisters who have lost their close relatives and their loved ones during the Westgate attack. We are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have been injured in this terrible tragedy and pray that the Almighty God grants them a quick recovery.”

The Bishops thanked Kenyans for their overwhelming response to the tragedy by donating blood and other acts of kindness and solidarity. The Church has donated food and blood bag kits to the Kenya Red Cross Society, which has been leading the emergency response to the tragedy.

“The donation of blood and other charitable acts; the sacrifices of those working in health services; all who have volunteered in any way to save the lives of our brothers and sisters in danger; let us keep the spirit as we continue to pray for each other.”

CAFOD has a long history of working in Kenya on long term development and humanitarian response, and works in partnership with the Kenyan Bishops Conference.

CAFOD’s Catherine Ogolla has described the attacks as horrifying and worrying, but says that they must not divide Kenyans, instead communities must work for peace and social cohesion:

"What extremists of any type want is to divide communities and sow violence, so all people of God must stand together for peace and unity in this time of trouble, sending the message out that the extremists will not succeed: they will not divide the Kenyan nation.

“The Kenyan people need a sustained commitment to peace, democracy and good government, and we cannot allow the weekend’s events to derail that. Most of all, we know that extremism thrives on hopelessness so above all we must continue to work together – with the support of parishes and schools in England and Wales – to offer hope of a brighter future to all the peoples of Kenya.”

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