Saturday, April 12, 2014
Former Kenya prime minister Raila Odinga (right) is helped by Ambassador Charles Stith to lay a wreath at the mausoleum of the late US Civil Rights movement leader, Martin Luther King Jr in Atlanta on April 11, 2014. PHOTO | BMJ MURIITHI | Nation
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has criticised the ongoing security crackdown by police in Kenya and urged the Jubilee government to halt “the indiscriminate harassment of a particular community.”
Speaking to the Nation from his hotel room in Buckhead on the outskirts of the city of Atlanta, US, on Friday, Mr Odinga said targeting a certain community was a violation of human rights and the law of the land.
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“I totally empathise with the families affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Likoni and Eastleigh but the approach the government has taken leaves a lot to be desired. This blanket condemnation of an entire community must stop forthwith,” he said.
Mr Odinga said the government should relook at its intelligence gathering modus operandi and act like “a 21st century government.”
The Cord leader also took issue with the manner in which the suspects were being handled. “This reminds one of the Mau Mau days when the British handled Kenyans in the most brutal and inhumane manner imaginable,” he said.
Mr Odinga was reacting to reports of ongoing swoop to identify illegal and undocumented migrants in Nairobi's Eastleigh estate amid complaints that police have been indiscriminate in rounding up all those without papers, including Kenyan Somalis.
Mr Odinga's remarks come only days after the US ambassador to Kenya expressed similar sentiments and called on President Kenyatta government to respect human rights as it undertook the operation.
On Thursday, the ODM leader wondered why the government has not formed an inquiry into the Westgate Mall attack even after the President promised Kenyans to do so.
“Close to a year after Westgate, the gaps in our security exposed by the attack that killed 70 people and wounded hundreds others have not been closed. The Government has inexplicably refused to form an inquiry into how the attackers in Westgate got here,” he said.
Mr Odinga spoke to the Nation soon after laying a commemorative wreath at the Martin Luther King Jr Mausoleum in Atlanta, Georgia.