As the world marked this year's African Refugee Day yesterday, under the theme: 'Hope' , a Kenyan Catholic archbishop has described as shameful the fact that the African continent has the largest number of refugees in the world. Presiding over special prayers for the Kenya-based refugees at Saint Teresa's Catholic Church in Nairobi on Sunday, Archbishop Boniface Lele of Mombasa Archdiocese and the current chairman of the Catholic Bishops' commission on refugees, migrants and seafarers, observed: "This is not something not to be proud of, and on the contrary it's a shame that thousands of African people should be out of their countries of origin", he remarked. According to some estimates from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the world is currently witnessing an estimated 24 million refugees, out of which eight million are in Africa. The Archbishop further pointed out that many of the refugees have found themselves out of their countries after they have expressed a different opinion from that of other people. He urged Kenyans to treat refugees with love and humility. "We are lucky in Kenya that we have not gone through what our brothers and sisters have faced in their 'new' life of refugee", he stressed. He prayed that all the "troubled areas" in Africa would enjoy peace and tranquillity so that the thousands of African refugees would be able to return to their homes. "Our hope is that that the African continent will managed to reduce the number of refugees or wipe them out completely in the years to come" he said. The colourful event, where refugees from various countries such as Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Burundi, and Rwanda, also prayed for peace and tranquillity in their countries, was jointly organized by the Jesuits refugee Service of Kenya, the Catholic parish of Saint Teresa, Nairobi and several agencies involved in refugee work in Kenya.
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