The discovery of a body in a shallow grave and claims of more graves, raises fundamental issues about security, not just in Mandera, but across the country. It also raises concerns about respect for life and human rights.
Over time, residents of Mandera (and other parts of Northern Kenya and the Coast), have raised concerns over the disappearance of family members and friends. Given the rampant insecurity experienced in the country not too long ago, it was easy for the authorities to classify this as the handiwork of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group coming after defectors.
But this did not assuage the fears of the locals who with their leaders, have blamed the forced disappearance on the country's security forces.
The residents of Mandera are convinced that Kenyan security officers did the killings and that there seems to be a deliberate cover-up of the atrocities committed.
Therefore it is tempting to conclude that this is nothing other than a new spate extra-judicial killings whose aim, perhaps, is to clear the area of individuals suspected to be Al Shabaab sympathisers. Nobody for sure knows what is happening.
- 1 Peace is critical to alleviating hunger
- 2 Ndhiwa: Officials back to drawing board over rising insecurity
- 3 How cloud-based techs can address food insecurity
- 4 MPs stoned after herders killed
Leaders from the area have threatened to enlist the help of the international community including the International Criminal Court (ICC), to not only show the gravity of the matter, but also as an unconscious admission they have little faith in the Government's ability or commitment to resolve the murders.
For whatever reasons, extra-judicial killings, if that is what they are, cannot be allowed to take place in a country that has institutions in place to handle matters pertaining to threats to national security. Secondly, the Government is duty-bound to protect the lives and property of all Kenyans.
It is because of this that the Kenya Defence Forces moved into Somalia in 2011 to neutralise the al-Shabaab militia. They have done so much to achieve that.
And therefore, nothing should excuse the death of any Kenyan. In which case therefore, Kenyans need to know what happened in Mandera.