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Excavation yields no bodies in Mandera ‘graves’

BOINNET-INTERVIEWNAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9- Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet says there were no more bodies in the 15 excavated sites alleged to contain mass graves.

Boinnet said the court-sanctioned excavation carried out on Tuesday and witnessed by politicians, local leaders; human rights activists and journalists did not yield any results.

“The entire Mandera County Security Committee members accompanied by Governor Ali Roba and Senator Billow Kerrow as well as several other local leaders including human rights activists and journalists, today 8th December 2015 witnessed the excavation of 15 sites alleged to contain mass graves and found not a single body apart from the lady who had been reported missing,” the police boss said.

He further said that the political leaders were not satisfied, and demanded the use of a bulldozer to dig deeper at the sites.

On Sunday, herders stumbled on the body of a woman at Lathe, 45 kilometers from Mandera town.

The police then obtained court orders allowing them to excavate the area thought to have a mass grave.

Some local leaders have accused police officers of extra-judicial killings following several cases of disappearances.

Police however claim most of the reported cases were of those youths who crossed to the war torn Somalia to join Al-Shabaab.

READ: What executions? Kenya’s police spokesman asks

Reports by human rights groups have also accused police of extra-judicial killings.

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READ: KNCHR: Kenya police guilty of extra-judicial killings

On September 5, a report released by the government’s human rights watchdog heavily indicted the Kenyan Police of extra-judicial killings during the ongoing terror crackdown

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) report titled ‘The Error of Fighting Terror With Terror’ listed 25 extra judicial killings and 81 forced disappearances and torture.

It includes water boarding, electric shocks, genital mutilation, exposure to extreme cold or heat, hanging on trees, mock executions and exposure to stinging by ants in the wild.

“The Kenya security agencies have continued to conduct abusive operations against individuals and groups suspected to be associated with terror attacks in the various parts of the country,” reads the report.

“KNCHR has heard multiple narratives of suspects being rounded up and detained for periods ranging from a few hours to many days in extremely overcrowded and inhumane and degrading conditions.”

The report details various counts of alleged victims of police brutality who were either linked to terror or were merely relatives to terror suspects.


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