KDF Soldiers Tortured Us Say Garissa Herders
These are pictures of some Garissa Herders who were allegedly stripped naked before they were tortured by Kenya Defence Forces. At least 8 herders were brutally beaten by herders in Masalani of Ijara sub-county.
The men show grave bodily wounds sustained during the gruesome beatings they were subjected to by the KDF soldiers.
“We were about to take our cattle to the grazing area when several military planes landed and officers came to where we were and started beating us up while naked. Some of us are lucky to be alive,” Mr Abdi Mohamud one of the herders said from his hospital bed. He was in excruciating pain as he spoke.
“The officers were asking us whether we have guns. We are wondering why they clobbered us even after telling them we are peace-loving Kenyans,” he added
Some of the herders who were brought unconscious to Masalani hospital of Ijara sub-county say they were not cautioned or questioned and do not know why the reason for their torture. They were ordered to undress and lie down before they were clobbered.
The herders said they don’t know the whereabouts of their cattle, which they left unattended after their encounter with the officers.
Residents are condemning the soldiers’ brutality and want action taken against those involved.
“It’s unfortunate that those we entrusted with the safety of our children can do this,” Mzee Hassan Mohamed said.
Hundreds of herders, most of them from Ijara Sub-County, have been taking their cattle to graze inside Boni Forest.
Garissa-based human rights activists have threatened to sue the Kenya Defence Forces, saying commanders will be held personally liable for their actions.
“It’s barbaric for KDF officers to attack harmless people who are herding their livestock. This is a major blow in the fight against terror. How can you fight someone yet you require his assistance against the enemy?” Northern Forum for Democracy co-ordinator Khalif Abdi posed.
He called on the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights to probe the incident, saying it was not the first time soldiers are accused of torture and harassment.
Mr Abdi appealed to the Independent Medico-Legal Unit to come to the aid of the affected, many of whom, he said, cannot afford specialised treatment.
Contacted for comment, Kenya Defence Forces spokesperson Lt Col Paul Njuguna denied the allegations, saying KDF is currently not doing any operation in the area.
“Let them give you facts about this incident. KDF is currently not doing any operation in that area,” he told the Nation on phone.