Kenya: Thousands gather for Daniel arap Moi funeral

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Around 30,000 people filled the Nyayo National Stadium on Tuesday in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi for the funeral of former president Daniel arap Moi, who dies last week.

Moi was Kenya’s leader for 24 years, making him the country’s longest-serving president and also one of the most divisive. Critics considered him as an authoritarian while supporters credited hum for maintaining stability in Kenya during difficult times. Before leaving office in 2002, Moi himself asked for forgiveness from “those he had wronged”.

Thousands gather for Moi funeral

Daniel arap Moi died last week at the age of 95 leaving behind him a divided legacy. Around 30,000 people packed into the Nyayo National Stadium to pay their respects and rather than mourn his death, many people in the large crowd took the opportunity to celebrate the former president’s life.

Current president Uhuru Kenyatta described Moi as “a father of our nation, a champion of Pan-Africanism”.

Draped in the Kenyan flag, Moi’s casket accompanied by a military procession that marched across Nairobi. Senior officers accorded the former president full military honours upon his arrival at the national stadium where his state funeral was held.

Leaders from across Africa attended the funeral to pay their respects and honour Moi’s diplomatic role in the region. With war breaking out in Somalia, Sudan and Uganda during his time as president, Moi opened up Kenya’s borders to refugees and took the lead in peace negotiations.

However, strong criticism of his tenure remains, namely for the brutal crackdown n dissent that detained his opponents, often without trial and many of whom were allegedly tortured.

Featured image: By Rob Croes / Anefo – http://proxy.handle.net/10648/accc6eba-d0b4-102d-bcf8-003048976d84, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73544359

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.