Police blamed for harrasing pastoralists
22 February 2012, 16:40
Pastoralist’s community at
Koreni village in Lamu County is up in arms against what they have termed as harassment
and discrimination by police in the height of operations.
The community complained
that police officers were harassing them on their daily night’s operations
mainly targeting pastoralist’s communities in the area which the said amounts
to discrimination and defiling of people’ constitutional rights.
Their spokesperson Mr.
Kalmeni Mohamed a village elder told journalists that general Service Unit
(GSU) arrives daily at their Manyata at night and start harassing them.
“They have been coming here
everyday and order every one to produce his or her identification card. It has
been everyday operation and only to us. As pastoralist’s community we
feel that it is as if we are not in our home country while we are Kenyans like
any other Kenyans,” he quipped.
He said already five people
have been arrested during the operations from their homes and wondered what was
happening to them as they were being harassed and arrested as if they were not
“We think police officers
are discriminating us because we look like Somali but the government should
intervene as every ones knows that we are Kenyans. Any discrimination and
harassment by police amounts to infringing our constitutional rights as
Kenyans,” he lamented.
The government has however
dismissed of harassing pastoralist’s community but admitted that five people
have arrested during the operations in the area.
Deputy police chief in Lamu
district Mr. Joseph Sigei said the government was not targeting the
pastoralists community as perceived during their recent raids at their homes
He said the operation was
normal one aiming to arrest non-Kenyans who might have ran away from war ton
areas of Somali where Kenya Defense Force is fighting insurgents.
“That was just a normal night
operation by police officers due to increase of visitors in the area who are
suspected to be running away from the war ton region of Somali. We all know
what is going on the other side of our country by our military officers,” he
He said the village is among
those which many out comers stay and that they had suspected Somali refugees
may have found way to the area.
The deputy police boss has
however urged locals residing at the village to report any case of suspicious
people to police.
“We urge locals to be
vigilant and report any cases of people they feel are new in the area so that
we can arrest them and interrogate because we fear that Somalia refugees may
find way to the region,” urged Mr. Sigei.
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