, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6 – The European Union is urging Kenyan authorities to thoroughly investigate allegations of extra-judicial killings in the country.
In a letter addressed to Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku, EU Ambassador Lodewijk Briet says they are increasingly concerned at claims that police are in extra judicial killings.
“We are concerned by continuous and credible reports of unlawful killings by the police and see these as proof of the urgent need for renewed momentum behind police reform,” he penned on behalf of the EU member states represented in Kenya.
EU Ambassador Lodewijk Briet has described the killings as worrying and indicative of a reversal in the gains the National Police Service has made in its bid to reform.
The letter was sent to the government a day after Muslim youth held violent demonstrations in Mombasa, accusing the police of executing a prominent cleric and three other people on Thursday night.
Four people were killed during the Friday protests that also left a church set ablaze.
The Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) Adan Wachu condemned the police for not allowing the four their right to stand trial for disturbing the peace.
The youth were demonstrating the killing of Sheikh Ibrahim Ismail and three others, which came a year after Rogo Sheikh Aboud Rogo, who was in the US list of wanted persons, was assassinated.
Solving this murder, Briet said, would go a long way in restoring public confidence in the National Police Service’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring it applies equally to all citizens.
“We believe that public confidence in the police is dependent upon ensuring that all allegations of unlawful killings by the police are fully investigated. The unexplained killing of Aboud Rogo last year and the recent death of the human rights defender Hassan Ali Guyo stand out as two cases that merit particular attention,” the EU representative stated.
He urged Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo to expedite the investigations.
“As the Government of Kenya determines how to best organise the responsibilities of the various security institutions in line with the Constitution, we encourage the Government to take note of the concerns expressed and initiate a comprehensive process of consultation prior to Parliamentary consideration of the bill,” Briet urged.
The EU has said it is opposed to the amendment that seeks to broaden the use of firearms by police.
“Under the existing legislation, the use of firearms is only permitted to protect the life of the officer or that of another person. In authorising the police to use their firearms to protect property, prevent suspects from escaping lawful custody or others from assisting them, the proposed amendments go far beyond this.”