Kenya mourns slain bishop

 All Kenya is mourning the death of Bishop Luigi Locati who was assassinated on 14 July. "Christians from all denominations have joined Catholics to mourn the Bishop. He was loved and appreciated by all for his tireless efforts to help the poor" said Consolata missionary Fr Gigi Anatoloni who has been in Kenya for 17 years. The president of Kenya Mwai Kibaki issued a statement in which he said the Bishop's death was "a great loss and not only for Catholics" and that no efforts will be spared to bring the murderers to justice and he recalled the Bishop's ''enormous and disinterested dedication". The funeral is being held in Isiolo Cathedral today. The Bishops of Kenya and the papal Nuncio Archbishop Alain Paul Lebaupin are expected to attend. Local sources say the Bishop will be buried in the cathedral crypt in Isolo where he served for 43 years first as parish priest and then as Bishop. The body of Bishop Locati is in Nairobi pending a post mortem. With regard to the investigation there has been no more news since police arrested two people suspected of being involved in the murder and Bishop's wallet was found, which would confirm that it was not a robbery. "The only new element is that the police want to question three members of parliament elected in this region with regard to ethnic clashes in the past few days and the assassination of Bishop Locati" the sources told Fides. Over the past few days in the far north near the border with Ethiopia at least 82 people, including thirty women and children were killed. 82 is the official number but the actual death toll could be much higher. The situation in the area 300 km north of Isolo is still tense but it is kept under control by about 2,000 soldiers of special Kenyan army units. "The murder of Bishop Locati would not appear to be connected with these incidents" the source told Fides. "However many times Bishop Locati denounced trafficking of stolen cattle and arms in this area and this may be directly or indirectly connected with these clashes". "The idea that the assassination may be connected with the re-opening of the Catholic school in Merti is still valid" the sources told Fides. "Bishop Locati wanted the school to be open and to be a place of encounter for people of all ethnic groups and tribes". Source: Fides

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