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Lobby petitions government against ICPD25 conference on reproductive health rights

Protesters allied to CitizenGo, a lobby group that has called for the rejection of what they termed as a A pro-abortion conference presented a petition  at the Office of the President on Monday, November 11/CFM – Moses Muoki

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11 – A coalition of pro-life nongovernmental organizations and activists held a demonstration Monday morning calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to reject what they termed a pro-abortion agenda at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) conference scheduled to commence on Thursday in Nairobi.

Protesters carrying banners and placards with pro-life messages convened at Harambee avenue, singing religious songs before presenting a petition to Office of the President at Harambee house.

Over 80,000 signatures were presented in the petition received by Paul Famba, the Director of Administration in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.

The activists termed the conference as an assault on the family values and a neocolonialism agenda spearheaded by western nations.

“We want to send a message President Uhuru Kenyatta that he should not support the agenda of ICPD25+. When he goes to open the conference, he should tell them that Africa supports life, Africa supports family and Kenya is against the agenda and commitments made in that controversial conference. ” said Ann Kioko, Citizen Go Campaign Director for Africa.

The coalition has vowed to collect more signatures rejecting the ICPD25 summit and will be holding parallel pro-life conferences in Nairobi’s Cardinal Otunga Plaza.

They also started an online campaign dubbed ‘Reject Pro-Abortion and Sexualization Agenda at ICPD25+ Nairobi Summit.’

A major march is slated for Thursday, November 14 at Uhuru Park recreational grounds in Nairobi.

Religious leaders, elders, politicians and government officials have given mixed reactions on the summit with Deputy President William Ruto assuring Christians that the government will not allow the introduction of practices that contradict the teachings of the Bible.

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“We would stand firm as leaders to oppose any teachings and issues that go against our stand as Christians,” he said.

According to the ICPD25 website, the summit aims to “bring everyone together: heads of state, ministers, parliamentarians, thought-leaders, technical experts, civil society organizations, grassroots organizations, young people, business and community leaders, faith-based organizations, indigenous peoples, international financial institutions, people with disabilities, academics and many others interested in the pursuit of sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

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