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Brief Account on What Happen on November 19-20th in Garissa, Kenya

Mogadishu Axad 2 December 2012 SMC


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Brief Account on What Happen on November 19-20th in Garissa, Kenya

On Monday, three Kenyan Army Officers were killed while repairing their Truck in Garissa, a town located in northeastern part of Kenya, predominantly inhabited by Somali people.

Officers were part of African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, reports suggest that they were either going or returning from Somalia.
Two other soldiers, according to a spokesperson for Kenya Defense Forces, KDF, Colonel Cyrus Oguna, quoted by Daily Nation on November 22, 2012, were present when soldiers were killed, they did not fire back to avoid collateral damage.

Locals, afterwards, informed the army and the police where the assailants went; subsequently, they have pursued them. As a result, security forces were able to capture a communication device, according to Oguna, but not the assailants.

Riots, according Oguna, as reported by Daily Nation, in its above dated report, erupted after three soldiers were killed; police then used teargas canisters, according Oguna, to disperse them.

An article posted on BBC website, on the same day riots erupted in Garissa, titled Kenyan soldiers 'rampage’ after Garissa shooting", identified a different cause for the riots: soldiers started to beat and detain people after their comrades were killed.
Other accounts on Garissa riots appear to favor the account provided by BBC, not that of Colonel Oguna.

Farah Moalim, deputy speaker of Kenya's parliament, who hails from the area, supported the account provided by BBC, and even went further, accusing the security forces of setting fire on a major market, Suq Mugdi, and even raping women; even though the deputy speaker did not provide evidence to substantiate the last claim, but claims of this nature were widely circulated around by many people including well known people in the area, such as a retired major who spoke to VOA Somali service from Garissa , this week.

Oguna's account were further contradicted by the prime minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, who condemned, according to an article posted on the Standardmedia on November 24, 2012, the alleged acts of the security forces in Garissa, while speaking to locals in the town. He has also promised to compensate them.

So far it appears security forces of Kenya have committed gross human rights violations in their attempt to avenge for their fallen comrades. Previous reports published by human rights groups, such as human rights watch, have provided evidence implicating them on similar charges, while dealing with Shebab and their likes. It has become a trend. This must cease. The silence surrounding this by both Somalis and non-Somalis ought to end.

At least eight people sustained gun shots while 50 others were wounded, presumably from the beating of the security forces, according to an article posted on BBC site on November 20, 2012.
A local chief who sustained gun shots, during the riots, allegedly shot by by Kenya's security forces while engaging with angry crowds in Garissa, died on Friday, November 23, 2012. His death was reported by the Star on 23rd of November, 2012. Another person also is said to have died as a result of the crisis.

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Somaliweyn Media Center (SMC)

Somaliweyn Media Center (SMC)