, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – At least 113 bodies of the Garissa University College massacre had been identified by Tuesday morning in the ongoing forensic exercise being undertaken at the Chiromo Mortuary.
According to Dr Sobbie Mulindi who is coordinating the exercise, 64 were identified through fingerprints by CID officers, while 34 others were physically identified by relatives.
Mulindi stated that the rest were identified by the National Registration Bureau and post-mortems have already been conducted on 35 bodies.
“Since yesterday we have made a lot of progress. Sixty four bodies have been identified through fingerprints and 34 by relatives. That brings the number to 98. Another 15 have been identified by the National Registration Bureau, so we are at 113,” he explained.
He indicated that the identification exercise is expected to end Tuesday to enable the government release bodies to the next of kin for burial. READ: 5 in court for supplying Garissa massacre guns.
“After post-mortem, we are telling them to wait until the government will announce when the bodies can be collected from here. I think so far we are doing very well and the government has announced that it is going to foot all the bills, mortuary, transport and those that are in hospitals, their medical bills are going to be footed by the government,” he stated.
He called for patience from those affected as the process was undertaken to completion.
A number of relatives camped at the Chiromo Mortuary narrated the ordeal they had to go through as they awaited to identify their sons and daughters.
Milcah Ruto who was waiting to identify her daughter Judy Chepkemboi said she just wanted to find her and accord her a decent burial.
She recounted the final conversation she had with her daughter and the agony of not knowing what had happened next.
“My daughter was able to call me on that fateful ‘day and stated that they had been attacked by the Al Shabaab. ‘I am under the bed and I need your prayers since we are in danger. That was the last conversation I had with her. After that one of our boys who teaches at the Garissa High school took the initiative to look for his cousin but was unsuccessful,” she stated.
For Dorcas Chepkorir, it was a weekend full of anguish as she tried in vain to contact her daughter who went missing following the incident.
“When she told me that she was in danger and that they had been ambushed, I went into the house and started praying. I waited for her to call me but was in vain. So we came here at Chiromo on Friday to try and look for her but did not succeed. From that day I have not seen my girl because they were badly mutilated, some did not have the skin on their faces others did not have hair,” she stated.
The government named one of the gunmen who took part in the killings as an ethnic Somali Kenyan national and law graduate, highlighting the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab’s ability to recruit within the country.
Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said high-flying Abdirahim Abdullahi was “a University of Nairobi law graduate and described by a person who knows him well as a brilliant upcoming lawyer”.
The spokesman said Abdullahi’s father, a local official in the northeastern county of Mandera, had “reported to the authorities that his son had gone missing and suspected the boy had gone to Somalia.”
Describing Abdullahi as an A-grade student, Njoka said it was “critical that parents whose children go missing or show tendencies of having been exposed to violent extremism report to authorities.”