- East Africa
Kenyan security forces abuse residents
Kenyan security forces have been abusing residents in crackdowns and caring act of vengeance in other to chase suspected supporter of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants says HRW.
The Human Rights Watch warned on Thursday that Kenyan security forces should stop the series of abuses carried out on civilian in Nairobi. A sequence of attacks has occurred since last October when Nairobi invaded southern Somalia taking Shabaab bases and targeting both the security forces and civilians. The New York based rights group says security forces have beaten and shot at civilians, as well as looting and destroying their property in responds to the attack on them.
Deputy Africa director at HRW Leslie Lefkow says the Kenyan police officers are actually responding to attacks on their forces with abuses against entire villages. He also says it will be better if the Kenyan police investigate attacks on their forces carefully, and arrest and prosecute the people responsible instead of attacking everyone in sight. According to the report, Kenyan security forces have repeatedly accused residents of either keeping Shabaab gunmen or involving themselves in attacks, and have carried out abusive operations against them.
Lefkow further says that the officers named by villagers who have made formal complaints should be investigated. According to them a senior police officials should instantly follow up on the many complaints of police abuse. He also says that the victims have shown courage by coming forward and lodging complaints thus they have to see accountability for these crimes. In May, the rights group also accused Kenyan security forces of abusing ethnic Somalis in the same region in similar attacks of revenge, accusing them of rape, arbitrary detention of civilians, looting and extortion. Last month, a Kenyan soldier with the African Union force in Somalia killed six civilian, he open fired on them following the Shabaab ambush in which one Kenyan soldier died. The soldier was immediately disarmed and has since been put on guarded seclusion.