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Garissa family seeks justice over relative slain by grenade


Sunday October 24, 2021
by STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Jirow was killed after KDF officers launched a rocket propelled grenade at him


MILITARY DISTANCES ITSELF: Widow Hodhan Lohos Dahar at her home in Soko Ng'ombe, Garissa.

A Garissa family seeks justice for their relative Arab Maulid Jirow who was allegedly killed by KDF soldiers in Raskamboni, Somalia on October 17.

Kenya Defence Forces spokesperson Easter Wanjiku distanced the military from the incident.

Speaking to the Star in a phone interview on Sunday, Wanjiku said the incident happened inside Somalia which is under Amisom.

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"What I want to make clear is that if there is an issue to be investigated then that will done by Amisom. If there is any inquiry Amisom will come to us (KDF) for facts," she said.

Jirow, 24, had crossed over to neighbouring Somalia with 90 head of cattle, in search of pasture and water due to the current drought.

When the press visited their homestead in the outskirts of Garissa town on Saturday, relatives were trying to console the nine-month pregnant widow Hodhan Lohos Dahar who was too emotional to speak to the media.

A relative, Abdi Ali, said Jirow was killed after KDF officers launched a rocket propelled grenade against the herder.

The grenade claimed his life on the spot, further killing 42 head of cattle while 50 head fled with injuries into the Raskomboni forest and were still missing.

“The conduct of this heinous act by KDF is a breach of KDF under Amisom rules of engagement. All we are asking for is justice for the family.

"Implicated soldiers should be held accountable for their action with a view of ensuring that justice is not served but seen to be served,” Ali said.

He added: “We also request with a lot of humility the atonement of the deceased family.  We also seek a fair trial based on fair justice and eventual compensation of the deceased and the stock.”

He urged the military to practice restrain when dealing with herders who usually cross to neighbouring countries in search of water and pasture.


CALL FOR JUSTICE: Abdi Ali, a relative of Arab Maulid Jirow who was allegedly killed by KDF soldiers in Raskamboni, Somalia on October 17 speaking to the press on Saturday at the family home. Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

A relative, Abdi Ali, said Jirow was killed after KDF officers launched a rocket propelled grenade against the herder.

The grenade claimed his life on the spot, further killing 42 head of cattle while 50 head fled with injuries into the Raskomboni forest and were still missing.

“The conduct of this heinous act by KDF is a breach of KDF under Amisom rules of engagement. All we are asking for is justice for the family.

"Implicated soldiers should be held accountable for their action with a view of ensuring that justice is not served but seen to be served,” Ali said.

He added: “We also request with a lot of humility the atonement of the deceased family.  We also seek a fair trial based on fair justice and eventual compensation of the deceased and the stock.”

He urged the military to practice restrain when dealing with herders who usually cross to neighbouring countries in search of water and pasture.

“Surely it wont cost our military personnel much to handle these herders in a civil manner. Even in the event they think their lives are under threat they can still do better,” Ali said.

He appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to intervene and dispense justice for the bereaved family.

The matter was reported at Bura police headquarters vide OB No 11/21/10/21.

Deputy county secretary Abdirashid Hussein consoled with the deceased young family.

He said the KDF officer in charge of Raskomboni arrogantly received them. They were kept for more than 48 hours before the body of the deceased was released for burial at Raskomboni.


Hussein said family members want the government to probe the matter and take necessary action against the KDF officers.

A Garissa human rights lobby promised to relentlessly pursue the case for quick dispensation of justice to the family.

Led by Muhuri Garissa head Abdishukri Jelle and his human rights defender counterpart Mukhtar Dahir they termed the incident as brutal and said those involved should be held accountable.

The group said the sad incidences will reverse the gains made by KDF and will further jeopardise cooperation with members of the public.

“Innocent people are killed and nothing happens. Officers who are mandated to protect the lives and properties of Kenyans are the same ones who are actually involved in these kind of atrocities,” Jelle said.

“We believe that a lot is happening but people are not coming out to report because of fear,” Jelle added.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)



 





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