, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has expressed concerns over video footage doing rounds on social media showing its rangers torturing three Maasai youths.
KWS acting director William Kiprono through a statement on Wednesday directed investigations over the matter in efforts to establish the truth and thereafter take appropriate legal action.
“This is unacceptable and most unfortunate,” he stated. “As KWS, we appreciate that our conservation efforts have made great strides largely due to co-operation of stakeholders, of whom communities are key.”
He said they will continue to maintain a cordial relation with all communities hosting wildlife while warning that they will not hesitate to take action against those who undermine it.
“We are a law abiding public institution that does not condone human rights abuses in discharging our mandate,” he said.
“I have directed that investigations to be conducted immediately to establish the truth to enable us take appropriate action.”
Kiprono further appealed to members of the public to provide any information on the incident to the nearest KWS office or police station.
In the footage, a number of KWS rangers are seen whipping the Maasai youths on their feet for unknown reasons.
The youths are heard asking for forgiveness as they wail but the rangers continue with the assault.
The video has elicited reactions on social media with people condemning the act while some appeal for identification of the rangers for possible legal action.
Lawrence Mbelati said this on the video link: “The rangers should be identified as well as the conservancy in which this barbaric act has happened, if the person in charge of the conservancy does not disclosed the rangers the whole post should be charged with human right violation and assault.”
Another reaction was from Jamuhuri Safari was: “Eco-activists are on this, no stopping until justice for the Maa youth is reached!”
Here is the link to the video: