Pro-Life Anti-Constitution Rally Bombed in Kenya

with David Logan, Editor, Pro-Life Reports for Africa

A June 13th rally organized by pro-life and religious groups in the Kenyan capital Nairobi was bombed twice, killing six people and injuring more than 100. The police have not identified any motive for the attack, and are offering a reward of half a million shillings for information leading to arrests.

“Any person with information regarding the incident is advised and requested to report to the nearest police or administrative office,” said Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, according to Capital News.

The rally had been called to galvanize a No vote in a referendum on a new Constitution. The proposed text for that document would legalize abortion for the life and health of the mother, as well as give a legal guarantee for any other written abortion law. A referendum is due on August 4th, and the government is pushing for a Yes vote.

According to The Standard, the two blasts ripped through the crowd after the rally had ended, but while religious leaders on the podium were still offering prayers.

Organizers of the rally produced a statement after the blasts blaming the government for the event. “We indeed consider that the attack was a premeditated aggression on democracy; a cowardly act seemingly aimed at scaring Kenyans from expressing their right to oppose the proposed constitution,” they said.

“Having been informed over and over that the passage of the new constitution during the referendum is a government project, we are left in no doubt that the government, either directly or indirectly, had a hand in this attack,” said a statement signed by more than 10 religious leaders.

The new Constitution would also give Constitutional recognition to Islamic courts – a provision that has also been a focal point of opposition to the document

Muslims account for only about 12% of the population, with Christians accounting for over 70%.

Commentators have speculated that the likely cause for the bombings is that extremist sympathizers of the government are trying to frighten the country’s Christian religious leaders and pro-life leaders, who are the only credible opposition to the proposed Constitution. If those two groups are successfully immobilized the government would have little difficulty in getting a Yes vote.

Another less likely cause for the bomb attack is that religious anti-Christian extremists are trying to undermine opposition to the religious provisions of the new Constitution.
See related coverage:

Negotiations on Pro-Abort Kenyan Constitution Break Down

Unveiling of Kenya Constitution with Abortion Provisions Set for Thursday

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