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Garissa leaders raise alarm over extrajudicial killings, disappearances as survey reveals surge in cases since Ruto took office



NAIROBI—Barely a week after two legislators from Garissa County raised alarm over the return of the extrajudicial killings and disappearances, a report by the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) revealed that since President Ruto’s inauguration last year, incidents of torture and violence have increased dramatically.

On Friday last week, Ijara Member of Parliament (MP) Abdi Ali and his youthful nominated counterpart Umulkher Harun challenged the security agencies to account for two missing persons. They also said another man was allegedly killed by officers.

“18- years- old Abdi Mohamed Abdi, a cattle herder in Boni is missing for four days, 20 -years -old Abdi Ahmed Abdi was abducted yesternight from his Bula Gora, Ijara home and a 40 years old Abdi Jabril Dagan Abass who was killed by security Officers after spraying bullets on herd of cattle while grazing Hindi area (sic),” MP Abdi Ali said on Friday.

Umulkher Harun said such actions evokes the deep-seated fear and resentment against State agencies.

“While insecurity is high in Boni area, Ijara Sub-county borders the operation areas. Aden Duale [and] Kindiki Kithure, such actions continues to further the community away from police creating fear and tension. Please sensitize the community and engage the families who’s children are missing,” she noted.

According to the IMLU survey, cases of extrajudicial killings and disappearances increased compared to the 232 violations reported during a similar period between October 1, 2021, and September 30, 2022.

One concerning aspect highlighted in the report is the prevalence of punitive policing during protests, extrajudicial executions, deaths in custody, and the deliberate torture of children. Interference with investigative authorities and unconditional interference by the National Police Service were also cited as contributing factors to these violations.

The majority of victims identified in the report were young adult males aged 18 to 35 years, accounting for 314 cases. Those aged 36 to 65 comprised 121 cases, while individuals aged 0 to 17 years represented 44 cases.

IMLU’s Executive Director, Peter Kiama, expressed deep concern about the alarming rise in cases, emphasizing that it not only signifies a lack of progress but also suggests a worsening situation.

Kiama asserted that this data implies President Ruto’s efforts to address police abuse and protect urban youth have fallen short. Kiama called for a critical re-evaluation of the strategies and measures put in place to fulfill promises made regarding police reform and youth protection.

President Ruto, upon assuming office, had vowed to end police brutality and enforced disappearances in the country as part of his efforts to streamline the security sector. He expressed the government’s commitment to ending extrajudicial executions.

Simultaneously, IMLU urged President William Ruto to recognize and support investigative and oversight institutions in the country, such as the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), in their efforts to end extrajudicial killings.


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