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AACC - Filling the gaps left by politicians
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tue, 30 Mar 2004 10:57:31 -0800
All Africa Conference of Churches
Tel: 254 - 20 - 4441483, 4441338/9 7 Fax: 254 - 20- 4443241, 4445835
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General Secretariat: Waiyaki Way,
P.O. Box 14205 , 00800 Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Filling the gaps left by politicians
NAIROBI (LWF) March 28 - For years, religious leaders in Africa have waited
in expectation that politicians who have been engaged in peace talks, would
in fact deliver peace to this continent but all that has come to naught,
said Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko, General secretary of the Lutheran World
He was addressing journalists at a press conference of the Regional
Inter-Faith for Peace Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.
He said politicians were expected to create institutions and structures
that would facilitate good neighbourliness and care for one another but
that was not to be.
The Zimbabwe - born clergy said the continental peace summit held in
Johannesburg October 2002 made them see how they had also been part of the
political mess that engulfed the continent, one that manifested itself in
many expressions such as the ever growing number of refugees from the
continent, political instability.
Earlier, in a separate interview, Rev. Noko categorically said he did not
believe in religious wars, asserting that such wars in fact were economic.
He cautioned people against using such rhetoric to exploit religious
diversity for their own selfish ends.
Meanwhile Rev. Fr. Thomas Bagbiowia from Sudan called for a culture of
dialogue between the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference, other faith
communities with their Muslim colleagues. He said that the only way to find
solution to Sudan problems was through dialogue
Mrs. Huwayda Atabani, representing the Sudanese Muslim interests,
underlined that the war in Sudan was basically about wealth distribution.
She gave a scenario where members of the same family belonging to different
religions have been known to live under the same roof in harmony
Rev. Bagbiowia said it was necessary for the government to separate
religion from the state.
And on Uganda, Bishop Macleord Baker Ochola II told journalist that the
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has nothing to do with Christianity since it
was going against Christian norms even as spelt in the Old Testament such
as "do not kill" and they are killing.
He blamed the government of Uganda of showing no political will to end the
war since it has all the means to do so. He, however, attributed that lack
of political will from the government to end the war since it was making
gains out of the war.
Mr. Alhaji Yusuf Murigu, a Kenyan delegate at the summit condemned the
spreading violence in Kenya,
He noted that this could be a plot to cause fears among those whose
political stand were not acceptable to others in relation to the
constitutional review. He said that violence and murders are not the
answer, what is needed is political tolerance.
Ms. Prabhudas Pattni from Rwanda, however, said the conflict that has been
witnessed in their country was not religious but ethnic in nature. A
similar sentiment was expressed by Sheikh Gamal Lumumba Sale Bin Ramazani
from the DRC who said the conflict in his country was engineered by
outsiders bent on exploiting their mineral resources.
By Joseph K'Amolo
AIMS Media for LWF
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