Kenya doomsday cult deaths’ site to be turned into national memorial: Minister

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Kenyan authorities will be converting the coastal forest where bodies of more than 250 people linked to a doomsday Christian cult were killed and buried, into a national memorial, according to Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki.

Kindiki said the forest “where grave crimes have been committed will not remain as it was”.

“The government will convert it into a national memorial, a place of remembrance so that Kenyans and the world do not forget what happened here,” he said in a statement.

After the exhuming process is completed, a multi-faith ceremony will be held at the site “to secure the sacred right and freedom of worship that has been violated by crooks hiding behind scriptures to radicalise and indoctrinate their followers”, added Kindiki.

The mass graves were discovered in Shakahola forest, a 325-hectare (800-acre) bushland that lies inland from the Indian Ocean town of Malindi. The minister, however, stated that the cult’s activities spread far and beyond the Shakahola forest. Authorities had extended their investigation to a ranch in the area stretching over more than 14,980 hectares (37,000 acres).

According to the latest reports, the total death toll in the case has risen to 251 with additional bodies being discovered on Tuesday, following the start of the third phase of the exhumation process.

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