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Eban Expresses Shock at Hearing of Assassination of Kenya’s Tom Mboya, Recalls Visit

Foreign Minister Abba Eban expressed shock yesterday at news of the assassination of Tom Mboya of Kenya, an African leader whom the Israeli diplomat had met on his tour of three East African nations last week. “I only met him a few days ago and we travelled together for several hours in the plane that took us to Addis Ababa,” Mr. Eban said on learning that Mr. Mboya was gunned down by an assassin on a busy street in Nairobi last weekend. The 38-year-old victim was Minister of Economic Planning and Development in the Kenya Government and was regarded as one of the most modern and progressive of black African leaders.

Mr. Eban described him as “a courageous fighter for the liberation of his country” who had “an enlightened approach to social problems.” Mr. Mboya visited Israel several times and was considered one of the pioneers of the friendship between Israel and the African liberation movement. Mr. Eban sent condolences to Mr. Mboya’s family, President Jomo Kenyatta and the people of Kenya. His African tour took him to Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.