VATICAN CITY, 5 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has made an appeal for peace and dialogue in Kenya following recent violence in the wake of the country's presidential elections.
In the Letter, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and addressed to Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi and president of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, the Holy Father gives assurances "of his prayers that this great tragedy will soon come to an end", and expresses his closeness to victims of the violence.
The English-language letter continues: "It is His Holiness's heartfelt hope that this beloved nation, whose experience of social tranquillity and development represents an element of stability in the entire troubled region, will banish as quickly as possible the threat of ethnic conflict".
The Pope "pleads for an immediate end to acts of violence and fratricidal conflict" and "appeals to political leaders, who are responsible for the common good", inviting them "to embark resolutely on the path of peace and justice, since the country needs peace that is based on justice and brotherhood. He encourages them to resolve the present difficulties through dialogue and democratic debate".