Human rights violation and brutality meted upon communities living in the Northern part of Kenya is not new despite the constant assurances from the state that those found culpable will face the law.
Those affected claim heavily armed militia have been causing mayhem day and night, violation of their basic human rights notwithstanding. Hundreds of women and young girls raped in the process as men are either hurt physically or at times even shot dead and homestead looted including livestock theft.
Meet Abdi Iftin, a resident of Arijiris area of Mandera County. He is a pain trying to explain how an armed militia attacked, looted, raped before destroying his home. He says it was dark when the men in boots attacked.
“I could not tell who they were so I switched on my torch to see properly and once I saw the firearms they were carrying, I decided to run for my life”, Abdi explains.
The gunmen chased him for a while before giving up and returned to his homestead where they caned and raped women for close to an hour before stealing anything valuable they saw in his compound. “My son who is six months old had his ears chopped off during the incident. That attack was aimed at my wife”, a frail Abdi narrates.
They did not care about the kids some of who were dead asleep not knowing what was going on. Following the commotion, most of them ran helter-skelter for their lives. We later located some at the neighbors compound while others had run far away.
As it was dawning, around 4:30 am, men dressed in Kenyan Police uniform arrived in several vehicles and the girls and women who had been abused were transported to Fino Hospital where they were referred to Mandera County Hospital for further treatment.
Among those who were hurt were Abdi’s daughter and his sister-in-law.
“I have been living here at Arijiris, Fino Division for five months now and we have never had any insecurity case like this. All we heard were cases of people being abducted but not raped and caned as it happened to us”. He said.
The police later brought water to our homestead but sadly no one was there as the children had gone into hiding.
The authorities also assured the affected that the Kenyan Government is doing all it can to pursue the gunmen promising them beefed-up security.
From Abdi’s tone, it is clear that the locals feel neglected and are ready to fight the invisible enemy should the government allow them to be armed
“Our hands are tied, we cannot fight the enemy (shiftas) who don’t know about God and His Prophet and we cannot pinpoint their tribe. Our only hope is that the Kenyan Government will go after them and the perpetrators brought to justice”, he concluded.