KENYA: Bishop Calls for Reconciliation in Refugees Camps

NAIROBI JANUARY 20, 2015(CISA) – Bishop Virgilio Pante, the chairman of the KCCB Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Sea farers has called for reconciliation initiatives to help curb violence within refugee camps.

Speaking during the World Refugee Day at the Kakuma Refugee camp in the Catholic diocese of Lodwar on Sunday January 18, Bishop Pante called for peace building processes to bring the refugees together.

“We should continue peace building and encouraging the communities to live in harmony even after they have left their countries. When we have refugees from both sides of a conflict within one camp, more effort is needed,” Waumini Communications quoted the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Maralal as saying.

He lamented that the lack of the reconciliation measures leads to conflicts among refugees spilling over from their countries into the UNHCR run camps in Kenya.

In December 2014, six people were killed and several houses torched when two factions from Southern Sudan clashed within Kakuma refugee camp.

By the time the Kenyan security agencies managed to put it off, the conflicts had sucked in refugees from Rwanda, Burundi the DRC and Ethiopia.

In his message for the day, Pope Francis called for joint action by all countries to ensure that more efforts are put at the conflicts sites which are a source of refugees and  at the camps where the displaced finally end.

“Solidarity with migrants and refugees must be accompanied by the courage and creativity necessary to develop at worldwide level, a more just and equitable financial and economic order,” he wrote in his message released at the Vatican.

In Kenya, the Catholic Church’s commission for Refugees, Migrants and Sea farers plans to launch a nationwide programme to take care of the many displaced people from neighboring countries who end up in Kenya as refugees.

“There are also many itinerants, being long distance drivers and Seafarers who need pastoral and social guidance,” said Mrs Margaret Masibo the National Executive Secretary for the commission at the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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