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Wagalla massacre: Ex-senator’s family cries for justice

Tuesday February 13, 2018

A man points at the place where the 1984 Wagalla massacre happened. The family of first Wajir Senator Noor Adan, who was killed during the massacre, has rekindled calls for justice. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The family of first Wajir Senator Noor Adan, who was killed during the 1984 Wagalla massacre, has rekindled calls for justice.

As the country commemorates 34 years since the massacre took place, the family of Mr Noor alias Noor Ngamia, have called on the government to implement the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report.

The Wagalla massacre which took place on February 10, 1984, started as an effort to disarm the ethnic Degodia clan following clan-related conflict in the region populated by Kenyan-Somalis.


Men were rounded up in military trucks and delivered to Wagalla airstrip.

With no food or water, they were beaten, tortured and some executed.

Witnesses claim that thousands of people were delivered to the airstrip, starved, ordered to strip naked and lie on the ground for days by security agents.

Though the government has put the number of the dead at 57, witnesses claim that 5,000 people were killed.

TJRC, which was set up to investigate human rights violations and other historical injustices, stated in its report that “close to 1,000” people were killed in the massacre.

The former senator’s son, Mr Mohamed Noor, Monday said justice for his father and others killed during the massacre had become a pipedream 34 years later.

Mr Noor, who was nominated as senator by President Jomo Kenyatta in 1963 served until the Senate was scrapped.

He was then nominated as MP, a position he held until 1969.


He remained a vocal leader, championing for the rights of Wajir residents before his health deteriorated.

“My father was picked together with former councillor Mzee Qanyare Mohamed, a survivor, along Jogoo settlement and taken to Wagalla airstrip where people were shot, others maimed and buried in mass graves. To date, his remains have not been recovered,” Mr Mohamed said.


Mr Mohamed said he gets distressed when he recalls former Interior Security minister Justus ole Tipis speaking on Voice of Kenya on a Sunday morning in 1984 vehemently rubbishing the massacre, saying the government killed 57 members of the shifta gang.

“Was my father a senator and MP or a shifta?” he asked.

He said President Kenyatta should end the cry for justice “as my father and his father were close friends, by implementing the TJRC report”.

“I just want closure,” Mr Mohamed said, adding that his father never supported the secessionist agenda.

The former senator, Mr Mohamed said, preached against the calls by Mogadishu radio urging the Northern Frontier Districts to join Somalia.

Mr Mohamed said as a patriotic Kenyan, he hopes justice will one day be done and the future reshaped for his “children and many others who are suffering from the same ordeal.”


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