Locals living in Garissa County’s Hulugho, Dadaab and Sangailu complained severally about the Kenya Defence Forces’s (KDF)arbitrarily arrest, torture, killings and disappearances of innocent citizens. The killings now appear to have come to Garissa Town. Few days ago, a young promising life was cut short by KDF bullets. Abdullahi Kassim Yussuf, 27 years old is the latest victim of the unchecked extra-judicial killings by Kenyan uniformed forces against innocent civilians. Abdullahi is believed to have been killed by KDF officers on 1st August 2019.
Abdullahi hails from Garissa. Son of Kassim Yussuf, a retired Administration Police Inspector and brother to Qamar Kassim – a prominent Human Rights Defender (HRD) and an uncle to Ms President First Runners-up Ummulkheir Mohamed. He was a staff member of Garissa County Government serving at Garissa Township Sub-County Administrator’s office. Before joining Garissa County Government, Abdullahi was an active member of a passionate group of activists dubbed #MaskaniGarissa that agitates for good governance, counter-violent extremism (CVE) and peace and cohesion efforts. He was a community mobilizer and an ardent football fan. Abdullahi left home on Wednesday at 10:30 pm to watch a game of soccer between Spurs and BayernEN with his friends at Ngamia Road in Garissa, just hundreds of metres away from his family home. They left the football joint at about midnight. Reports by neighbours say that screams were heard at about the same time and later gunshots. No person from the neighbourhood had any idea of what that was about.
The family were notified the next day that the body of their son lay in Garissa County Referral Hospital. His body that had gunshots was brought by the police after they were allegedly notified by the KDF. KDF told Kenya Police to collect the lifeless body of Abdullahi lying at the gate of the military camp which is located at the heart of Garissa town.
Post-mortem results indicated that Abdullahi died of haemorrhage from three gunshots – two on his chest and one on the back. The family of Abdullahi is crying for justice and demanding the killers brought to book.
This has certainly not been the first and may not be the last if authorities do not act decisively and quickly. The cry for help by the residents of the larger North Eastern Kenya has not been heard and too many innocent lives are being lost.