The Archbishop of Canterbury has supported the Archbishop of Kenya in calling for preach and prayers, after the announcement of the African country's election results.
William Ruto, the former deputy, won the election on Monday after edging the vote by an extremely tight margin. He beat Raila Odinga, who was making his fifth bid for presidency.
Ruto's victory was confirmed moments after violence broke out at the main counting hall. Four out of seven electoral commissioners have denounced the result.
With memories still fresh of past post-election bloodshed in usually stable Kenya, Odinga is under local and international pressure, to call for calm and seek to resolve any concerns over the election outcome in the courts.
Most Rev Jackson Ole Sapit, Archbishop of Kenya called for peace on the streets:
We have an opportunity to DEMONSTRATE that DEMOCRACY WORKS. Even when there is something that can divide us, we find our unity in Christ. Let NOT our Tribal and political inclinations override our Identity. @NCCKKenya @irck_info #ABIDINGINPRAYER#UNITEDINCHRIST pic.twitter.com/4diO5XQcAx— Jackson Ole Sapit (@ArchbishopSapit) August 15, 2022
And the Archbishop of Canterbury echoed his plea.
I applaud and support @ArchbishopSapit of the Anglican Church of Kenya in calling for peace, prayer for Kenya, and only constitutional forms of dissent. Kenya is a strong democracy – may all her people flourish in peace, and may God bless all those working for that peace.— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) August 15, 2022
African diplomats were also among those calling for a peaceful resolution, adding their voices to those of the United Nations and the US embassy in Kenya.
One diplomat said: "I think all messaging (to Odinga) is in the same direction. He would be mad to trot out the same strategies as 2017" - a reference to Odinga's call for mass street protests after losing the last presidential election.
Then, more than 100 people were killed after the Supreme Court overturned the result citing anomalies in the voting process. A decade earlier, more than 1,200 people were killed in widespread violence after the 2007 presidential vote.
Frederick Casimir, a partner of Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors in Kenya told Premier: "I think there is need for healing in the hearts of the many people who have lost in the election. We had the greatest number of contenders at various levels of elections and so that means there's almost 16,000 people who have not been elected.
"So there's a lot of hurt and pain, because it's a very emotive thing.
"I think the second thing we can ask for prayer, for a grace to concede for those who have lost and also pray that justice will be upheld across the country and we need peace."