Catholic priest killed in Kenya violence


A Catholic priest was killed in Kenya on Saturday, yet another victim of the massive violence following contested December elections, the Catholic Information Service for Africa reports.

Father Michael Kamau Ithondeka, a 41-year-old priest of the Diocese of Nakaru, was killed by armed youth at a roadblock on the Nakaru-Eldama Ravine Road.

According to Father Simon Githara, the parish priest of Eldama Ravine, Father Kamau was stopped by armed youths claiming they were on a revenge mission after one of their own was killed in Nakaru.  Despite his pleas for mercy, the youths attacked the priest with crude weapons, killing him.

Father Kamau had studied at the Pontifical Institute for Biblical Studies in Rome and was vice-rector of St. Mathias Mulumba Senior Seminary in Tindinyo.

The Catholic Information Service for Africa reporter David Omwoyo, speaking from Naruku, said the violence appears to be revenge against members of the Kalenjin, Luo, and Luhyia communities, in retribution for recent killings of members of the Kikuyu community. 

The military is evacuating non-Kikuyus from Nakuru.  Hundreds of displaced persons have sought refuge in four Catholic parishes.

Catholic Kikuyu personnel working in the Rift Valley province have also been threatened.  Two priests based at Moi University escaped a nighttime attack at their house in Eldoret.  One of the priests told CISA that they had received several threats.

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