While the mood in Kenya is said to be tense after the nation’s reprised presidential election on Oct. 26, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his archrival, Raila Odinga, exchanged greetings at a special service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.

The politicians attended the Nov. 5 celebration of the cathedral’s centennial, and the Archbishop of Canterbury preached.

“I am not calling for mediation but for the steady and long-term work of building structures of reconciliation, the capacity to deal with the nation’s challenges in a way that brings peace in the future, even when there are deep disagreements,” Archbishop Justin Welby said.

Kenya, he said, had always set a sterling example of being a peaceful country. “Since independence, Kenya has been a model for Africa — yes, with problems and trials, but for the most part keeping the peace. We need an example of reconciliation, not only in this country, but in the region of which it is the leader.

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“Reconciliation is not mediation or arbitration, or trickery and abandoning principle,” he said. “It is the transformation of violent and destructive conflict into lives in which disagreements are still there but dealt with peacefully for the common good.”

Welby, on his second visit to Kenya this year, met the evening before with President Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, where he urged leaders of the nation to maintain peace.

John Martin

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