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Fight between Muslim and hawkers

Posted on: December 14, 2000 6:01 PM
Related Categories: Kenya

By Siphiwe Sithole
Intern, Anglican Communion Communications, London

Fighting that erupted in Nairobi last week in which an Anglican Archbishop was slightly hurt, was between Muslims and hawkers, dispelling earlier reports that the fight was between Muslim and Christian youths.

The fighting began when Muslim teenagers pulled down wooden kiosks which they said had been erected too close to a mosque in the South B housing estate on the south side of the capital. The kiosk vendors torched a mosque during the fighting.

Reports said that Christian youths joined the kiosk vendors in the fighting and Archbishop David Gitari, was injured when he went into the area to try to calm things down and that he received treatment at a nearby hospital and was later released.

The Catholic 'Our Lady Queen of Peace' Church was also reduced to a shell. Its roof had collapsed and only a few pews were saved from the blaze.

Archbishop Gitari told ACNS that the fight was between Muslim and hawkers, not Muslim and Christian youths as earlier reports had suggested. He said he only sustained a slight injury and that the Muslim leaders formed a human shield around his car and therefore saved his life from a very dangerous situation.