Being Dominican
Preachers Resources
Justice and Peace
Faith and Film
Groups and Organizations
Latin America

Free Update

Can't open PDF format files? Click on the link to download the latest Adobe Reader. It is safe and secure and free. Really.
Dominican Life | USA
| Sisters | Associates| Friars | Laity | Nuns | Link to Groups| DLC
| World OP

free email update
Coming Events

UPDATE on the Dominican Friars in Kenya
Kenya Violence Escalates toward Ethnic Cleansing

David Adiletta, OP, Vicar Provincial

See New York Times story

NAIROBI February 4, 2008 --- The situation in Kenya over the last week and a half has been tense and explosive due to contested election results for the presidency.  This had been proceeded by some acts of violence in the campaigns.  However, the Dominican Family has not been especially affected by the violence (in general foreigners have not been touched).  In Nairobi the friars' houses are rather far away from the centers of violence which are in several of the many slums in Nairobi.  There were a couple of days when fuel was not available, or phone cards, or some perishable food stuffs were hard to find, but this did not last for very long.  Some roads were blocked.  St. Catherine's parish had many guests one Sunday as people were afraid to travel to their usual parish.  And some of the student brothers had trouble returning to Nairobi after their planned Christmas break to visit their families due to unsafe roads. 

One of the sadder notes was that one of Br. Thomas Odhiambo's uncles was killed in one of the slums in Nairobi.  And I just learned recently that Br. Marc Anthony, while at home in Kisumu area, was confronted by some men who asked him to speak Luo.  Luo is his first language, so he was able to do it and was left alone. 

The situation in Kisumu has been more tense than in Nairobi, however, our community is about 12 or so kilometers (8 miles) outside of the main city.  And while the Luo people have been protesting the results of the presidential election by burning and looting, they have not been killing anyone.  Most of the killing has been done by some of the police who are known for their brutal ways.  And it seems some of the Ugandan military have been helping the police in both good and bad ways. 

The Dominican compound became a place of refuge for around 25 people of Meru or Kikuyu heritage who feared attacks.  This lasted a few days before they were safely transported to the police for armed escort to various areas of Kenya which are safer.  In addition, the Fr. Tom's Memorial Children Program, under the direction of Martin Martiny, has thought it prudent not to send their sponsored children back to the various schools they were attending in different places of Kenya.  Some of the children did not feel safe.  So, efforts are being made to start a makeshift school near the Dominican compound with the help of two Sisters of the Assumption Sisters of Eldoret.

Kenya MapDue to a rumor of the killing of some Luo people by Kikuyus in retaliation for a church that was burned in Eldoret killing 40 or so Kikuyu, a rumor which seems not to have been true, there was a great fear that there were going to be reprisals agains all non-Luo people in Kisumu.  Therefore, Kevin Kraft, after consultation with Martin Martiny and me, decided to move the novices.  They are currently in Nairobi and taking advantage of the opportunity to have a series of lectures by Fred Mvumbi on Islam.  It is not clear at this point how long they will remain in Nairobi. 

Most of the Dominican Family has been relatively untouched by the violence.  Nor have I heard of any family members hurt other than what I mentioned.  The nuns, the Dominican Sisters in Thika or Matasia, the Maryknoll Sisters and the Hawthorne Dominicans in Kisumu have reported being fine.  The Dominican Sisters in Uganda have suffered with the people of Uganda in terms of shortages of fuel or some other goods.  Most of the fuel for cars, trucks and airplanes for the countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo, comes from Mombasa port in Kenya and then is transported by truck to those countries.  No trucks were on the roads for a few days due to fears of hijackings and looting, so there have been shortages everywhere. 

The situation remains tense as both sides in the dispute hold to their hardlines.  However, there are more voices of justice, peace, and reconciliation being heard.  There are also more images of people helping each other.  Even in Kisumu there are known cases of Luo families giving refuge to members of Kikuyu families.  Perhaps there are examples of this even in areas such as Eldoret which has had some of the worst violence. 

The Dominican Laity in both Kisumu and Nairobi are fine as far as I know.  One member did leave the country and returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a short period of time on the advice of his boss, but I believe that was excessive.  The employer had asked all expatriates to leave the country for their safety.  But expatriates have not been targeted. 

We thank you for your prayers and ask you to continue. It will take a long time to overcome the substantial issues that lead to such violent clashes between neighbors.  May God continue to bless Kenya.

David Adiletta, OP
Vicar Provincial 



Reports from Kevin Kraft:
January 28, 2008
January 27, 2008

Novitiate in Exile

Maryknoll Sister Katie Erisman, MM

A SPECIAL EYE WITNESS REPORT on Violence in Kenya from Dominican Friars

Why Is Kenya Bleeding?

Bert Ebben, OP (St. Martin)

Who are the Dominicans in Kenya?

Catholic Relief Services Info


subscribe to and receive a free email update every two weeks. unsubscribe