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Friday, April 15, 2011

Law Designed to Keep Somali Kenyans Poor


Archaic law linked to poverty in Garissa


Posted  Thursday, April 14 2011 at 20:06
The emergency law creating poverty in Garissa County, the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission has been told.
The team heard that more than 9,000 cattle were confiscated by the state through an archaic law.
The law reportedly created concentration camps known as villages to curtail the movement of pastoralists and livestock found outside the camps were taken away.
Mr Dubat Ali Amey, a witness who spoke before the commission, said five camps known as ‘kijijis’ were created in Modogashe, Garissa, Balambala, Bura and Ijara between 1965-66 under the leadership of then PC J. J. Mburu.
“Anyone found outside the camps was declared a shifta, and was shot dead while his herd was taken to Kenya Meat Commission to make canned meat that was served to the security forces that conducted the deadly operation,” Mr Dubat said.
The witness said camels were shot dead since the security officers did not like the meat.
He said the move by the state resulted in widespread poverty in Garissa county.
A notorious concentration camp known as Jaribu was cited as one of the worst. There, nine officers also known as the Nine Brothers, reportedly used brutal acts to extract information from locals.
Officers from the Special Branch, Criminal Investigation Department and Kenya Wildlife Service, acting on the orders of then PC Mburu, allegedly tortured and killed anyone who did not cooperate.
The commission sitting at Garissa National Library heard that the officers working with Somalia bandits were involved in wildlife poaching.
“It is known to all the residents of Garissa Town that the 300 people killed in Garissa Gubay in 1980 was because of a bandit called Abdi Madowe who was a notorious poacher and a close friend of the security officers,” Mr Dubat said.
The commission was asked to refer to a 1980 Sunday Nation paper where then PC Benson Karia was quoted saying that for the death of one security officer, 100 Kenyan Somalis would die.
“Police officers killed with impunity,” Mr Dubat said in a lengthy testimony.

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