Kenya, like many other countries, has, and is experiencing its fair share of violent protests, causing untold suffering, destruction, and loss of lives. As Laudato Si Movement-Africa, we condemn the ongoing violent protests in Kenya and call for the need to respect the rule of law and the right and responsibility to peaceful protests. We are also concerned with the issues of high living costs, extra judicial police killings, and the necessity for a united Kenya under trusted leadership. Additionally, we explore the significance of Laudato Si Encyclical, emphasizing on its teachings on peace, environmental stewardship, and the importance of listening to the people’s voices through an open dialogue. Finally, we recognize the significance of peace in promoting ecological and environmental protection while condemning wars and violent protests across Africa.
Upholding the Rule of Law and the Right to Peaceful Protests
The cornerstone of a just and democratic society is the rule of law, which must be seen to be impartial and for the people within that society. It is imperative that all citizens, the government and its security apparatus respect and abide by the laws of the land. Violent protests and harsh government measures undermine the very essence of democracy, as they lead to chaos, suffering, and destruction. Instead, we must embrace peaceful protests as a means of expressing grievances and advocating for change and accord the highest levels of security standards to the protesters.
High Costs of Living and Police Killings: Addressing Root Causes
The rising costs of living in Kenya have placed an unbearable burden on citizens, leading to frustration and discontent. However, resorting to violence is not the solution. It is crucial for the government and leaders to address the root causes of these economic challenges and work collaboratively towards sustainable solutions. Kenya has a wide pool of experts ranging from economics, leadership, and peace building which the country can rely on to mitigate the rising dissent for the new government financial policies and excesses.
Furthermore, extra-judicial police killings are a grave concern that further erodes trust between the government and its citizens. A transparent and accountable justice system is essential to hold those responsible for such acts accountable and prevent further injustices.
A United Kenya under a Trusted Leadership
The division among Kenyan citizens only weakens the nation. We must strive for unity under a leadership that genuinely listens to the concerns of its people and works towards the betterment of the country. President William Ruto has no other option but to listen to the national outcry of the Kenyan citizens and be the father figure to bring hope and unity back. The opposition leader, Mr. Raila Odinga must also diffuse his supporters and the highly charged country to give dialogue a chance. A united Kenya can overcome challenges and pave the way for progress and prosperity.
The Laudato Si Movement: Promoting Peace and Environmental Stewardship
At the heart of the Laudato Si Movement lies the call for peace and environmental stewardship. Peace starts from within an individual, as each person must embrace a non-violent approach to conflict resolution. At the community level, cooperation and dialogue foster understanding and harmony, leading to peaceful societies.
As stewards of Mother Earth, it is our moral duty to protect and preserve the environment for future generations. Laudato Si Encyclical calls on all of us to recognize the interconnectedness of all living beings and advocate for sustainable practices that promote environmental protection and social justice. The current chaos and protests however, may blur our focus on environmental stewardship, including from the contentious lifting of the logging ban on our forests.
Support from the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has called upon the President to listen to the voices of the people of Kenya. This call aligns with the principles of Laudato Si, emphasizing the importance of genuine dialogue and understanding between leaders and citizens. We are also insisting on the need for President William Ruto and the opposition leader, Raila Odinga to listen to the cry of the poor Kenyans especially those who cannot afford to restock a day’s supply of food to last an hour, or to those school going children who are forced to remain home due to the national unrests.
Importance of Peace in Promoting Ecological and Environmental Protection
Peace plays a critical role in safeguarding the environment and promoting ecological protection. In times of conflict and violent protests, environmental conservation takes a back seat, leading to irreversible damage to natural resources. A peaceful society can prioritize environmental concerns, leading to sustainable development and a healthier planet.
Condemnation of Wars and Violent Protests Across Africa
Beyond Kenya, we must condemn all forms of violence, wars, and extra-judicial killings across Africa. Such conflicts only lead to suffering, forced displacement, and environmental devastation. It is crucial for African nations to prioritize peaceful resolutions to conflicts and work towards the betterment of their societies.
Violent protests and government high handedness have no place in a nation striving for progress, peace, and environmental preservation. We must respect and protect the rule of law and embrace peaceful protests as a means of voicing our concerns. By adhering to the teachings of Laudato Si and fostering a united Kenya under trusted leadership, we can pave the way for a prosperous and sustainable future. Let us stand together, reject violence, and embrace peace and environmental stewardship for the greater good of Kenya, Africa, and the world over.
Story by Prince Papa
Africa Programs Manager.
Laudato Si Movement