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Officers accused of harassment in operation

By - | Updated Wed, April 24th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3
Jacqueline Daudi the wife of Daudi Ng’ombe with a relative at their Wikitoo village home in Migwani District, Kitui County. Daudi Ng’ombe, 21, was killed in Garissa town on Thursday alongside nine other people. [PHOTO: PHILIP MUASYA]


Claims of harassments, arbitrary arrests, and looting characterised the second day of the security operation in Garissa town.

Leaders and residents claimed that contingent of security personnel deployed to flush out illegal immigrants, criminals were using force.

Khalif Abdi Farah, the co-ordinator of Northern Forum for Democracy, said dozens of people were beaten as the security officials searched homes and business premises.

“I am also a victim of the security forces looting after I lost a Toshiba laptop and Blackberry phone to the officers who stormed my home,” he said.

He said the brutal operation has to be stopped before it escalates to another level.

“We won’t be surprised if the security officers resort to raping women and girls in the name of national security,” he said.

He said few people had reported the violations. He said the brutal operation would further alienate the community.

Leaders detained

Newly elected county assembly leaders were not spared either. Mahat Osman Ibrahim, the Jarajilla county representative, said he was among 11 members of the Garissa County Assembly detained arbitrarily.

He said the leaders were detained for more than three hours before they were released without charges.

“Some of us were preparing for the assembly session when we were arrested. People are being arrested while walking on the roads, in their homes, businesses and even pulled out from private and public vehicles,” he said.

Abdirahaman Atosh claimed that he has a cut suffered from a bayonet.

“The officers, who were in red berets, stormed my home and started roughing us up and in the process I suffered the cut from a bayonet,” he said. The claims came as at least 14 people were arraigned before Garissa resident magistrate and charged for failing to register as Kenyan citizens despite attaining the age of eighteen.

They were fined Sh1,000 each.