Document 51422

Torture by Kenyan Police in
North Eastern Kenya
Where Terror Rules:
Torture by Kenyan Police in North Eastern
----- : 00100
The purpose of torture is not only the
extortion of confessions,of betrayal: the
victim must disgrace himseIf by his
screams and his submission, like a human animal. In the eyes of everybody
and his own eyes. He who yields under
torture is not only made to talk, but is
also to be marked as sub-human.
Jean-Paul Sartre
KHRC is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation established in April
1992 in both the United States of America, and Kenya and registered
in Kenya in January 1994 under the Non-Governmental Orgasnisation
Co-ordination Act. Its purpose is to promote and protect the enjoyment by Kenyans of nationally articulated and internationally established standards of human rights.
To achieve this, it focuses its efforts and resources in advocacy and
mobilisation initiatives that seek to:
• secure the protection of these rights for all Kenyans;
• empower Kenyans to advocate and mobilize for their inherent
right; and
• articulate the frustrations, aspirations, and endeavours of
Kenyans as they struggle to incorporate democracy, respect for
human rights, and good governance in their lives.
KHRC's work is carried out through a secretariat office in Nairobi
that conducts a host of activities, including; an action-oriented research and publications programme; a mobilisation programme that
has organised several campaigns; a consciousness-raising and education programme; a land rights and advocacy project; and a women's
rights and advocacy project.
Board of Directors
Makau wa Mutua, Chair
Willy Mutunga, Vice-Chair
Alamin Mazrui
Njeri Kabeberi
Mumbi Mathangani
Mama Kiai, Executive Director
P.O. Box 41079, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel.: (254-2) 574999/8, 576066
Fax: (254-2) 574997
E-mail: [email protected]
© KHRC, 1998
• This report has been authored by Mutuma Ruteere. It has been
• editedMaina Kiai. It is based on field research by Eva Kiiru and
Mutuma Ruteere. Our thanks also go to Sheikh Mohammed for
assisting in the research. Design and layout was done by Njuguna
Mutahi. Many other individuals took time off their busy schedules
to grant interviews, offer comments and make observations. Some
requested anonymity and we cannot reveal their identities. To all of
you, thank you. We also thank our donors for their support.
2 7 1998, Kenyan security forces ostensibly on a•
residents of Mbalambala in North Eastern Kenya and
subjected them to horrifying torture.
The 38 were arrested following the killing of a police officer in a
banditry attack.
There is nothing accidental about the manner in which the t&ture
was carried out. People were stripped naked, tear-gassed, kicked
and viciously whipped. They were hung by the hands from trees
leading to paralysis of the arms and subjected to the most vile and
undignified treatment.
Although the police have denied it, there is every reason to believe
the testimony of one woman who claims to have been raped by the
police officers. This is the ultimate violation of any woman.
These recent tortures must be seen within the context in which the
Kenya government has over the years treated the people of North
Eastern Province. Since the colonial days North Eastern Province
has been treated as a national irrelevance, denied infrastructural
development security and social services..
Since the separatist shfta war, which started just before Kenya's
independence in 1963 and ended in 1968, the area has been allowed
to become a haven of banditry and criminal activity. Unspeakable
violations have been allowed togo on under the seal of legality. On
various occasions, government officers have illegally arrested,
tortured and killed innocent citizens under the emergency
regulations that were in effect from 1968 1991.
The Mbalambala torture should never have occurred. The initial
reluctance to admit that something went wrong in the security
Operation fosters doubt as to whether the government has the will to
bring the 'iilprits to book.
The commission set up by the government to investigate the torture
in Mbalambala must make its findings public and hastily move to
prosecute the suspects.
As this report shows, officers who perpetrated the torture are
known. Witnesses to the torture as well as victims are willing to
testify. The responsibility for ensuring that justice is done solely
rests on the government.
Following the partition of Africa after the 1884 Berlin Conference,
many African communities found themselves arbitrarily split and
placed in different countries. The most affected were the Somali
who found themselves divided between five different colonial
powers, the British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, French
Somaliland, Ethiopia and Kenya.'
The area occupied by the Somali in Kenya was named the Northern
Frontier District. Owing to its aridity and the absence of resources
it did not attract any development under colonialism. In addition,
fighting among the inhabitants led to the invocation of the Outlying
Districts Ordinance in 1902, the effect of which was to declare the
NFD a closed area. No one could enter the area without a licence
and no resident of the area could visit other areas of the country
without a special pass. The import of these policies was starkly
explained by residents in 1962:
We have always been a separate entity, denied even
the freedom to seek employment in the rest of Kenya,
while a visa to enter Kenya does not entitle the holder
to visit the NFD.... Our territory has always been
regarded as a "punishment station. "Our only guests
have been colonial officials, exiles and political
prisoners. We ourselves have not been able to visit the
rest of Kenya without a special pass.
The background to this report heavily draws from an article,
"Beyond the 'Emergency' in the North Eastern Province: An
Analysis of the Use and Abuse of Emergency Powers" by
Kathurima M'Inoti, Nairobi Law Monthly, No. 41 February!
March 1992.
No one outside Kenya seems to be aware that for
decades a "pass" system has been imposed upon us,
not unlike the system that operates in South Africa. We
are for all intents and purposes, incarcerated. The
vast majority of us in the NFD have never set eyes on
Nairobi. We are not allowed to do so. Yet some say we
have been part of Kenya for over 60 years. 2
Thus neglected, it was natural that at independence, the people of
the NFD found themselves gravitating more to their kin in the new
Republic of Somalia especially since the new republic of Somali
expressed common background and nationalism. A commission set
up in 1962, found out that 87% of the Kenyan Somali were for
secession. 3
Kenyan leaders, led by Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya Africa National
Union (KANU) and Ronald Ngala of the Kenya Africa Democratic
Union (KADU), opposed the amalgamation of the North Eastern
province to the Somali state.
In April 1961, the Kenyan Somali boycotted the regional elections
in anger of the Kenyan government' s position over secession. In
December. 1963 1 they again boycotted the general elections. Soon
after, the shifta rebellion broke out.
The Kenya government invOked Section 85 of the Constitution to
declare a state of emergency in the former NFD, now North Eastern
Ibid; page38
Marc-Antoine Perouse De Montclos, 1998, "Elections Among
the Kenyan Somali: A Conservative but Marginalised Vote,"
(unpublished paper)
Provnce. 4 While this declaration meant the restriction of certain
rights, it is the use of the Preservation of Public Security Act
regulations which allowed the most blatant derogations of human
rights. Under this Act, The North Eastern Province and contiguous
Districts Regulations 1966 came into force allowing the President
to make regulations that may violate fundamental rights and
freedoms as well as amend the operations of any written law in the
Under the regulations, it became an offence punishable by ueath to
be in possession of a firearm or to be in company of someone in
possession of a firearm. Harbouring a person suspected of having
or intending to act in a manner prejudicial to public security was an
offence punishable by life imprisonment.
Near the border, the armed forces were allowed to use deadly force
against anyone attempting to cross. The provisions ofthe Criminal
Procedure Code that require an inquest be held in the event of death
under police hands were suspended. The armed forces could enter
any premises and conduct a search at any time, detain any vehicle
and destroy livestock. A person could be detained forup to 56 days.
In case of detention under these regulations, the authorities were
not required to gazette the detention, thus making it easy for
persons to "disappear."
Thus North Eastern Province was treated as though it was under a
state of war although the war had ended in 1968, a development.
that allowed the security forces to commit horrendous act ofhuman
Section 85 ofthe Constitution allows the President to bring into
operation, generally or in part of Kenya, Part III of the
Preservation of Public Security Act or any of the provisions of
that Part of that Act.
rights violations, with impunity. Massacres took place in Bulla
Karátasi in 1980 and at Wagalla in Wajir in 1984. In the 1984
massacre, it is estimated that as many as 2000 people were
the security forces.
The Wagalla massacre circumstances were horrifying. On
February 10, 1984, six thousand men were rounded up and herded
together in the Wagalla Airstrip which is ringed with barbed wire
for five days. They were then surrounded by over 1,000 armed
soldiers and about 50 tanks. They were ordered to remove all their
clothes and then ordered to lie down on their bellies. 6
Ten of the strongest men were selected, dressed in paraffindrenched clothes and set on fire. They all burned to ashes. Anyone
who raised their heads was shot dead. Others were bayoneted to
For five days the men, among them young boys, were allowed no
water or food. Houses were razed down and women raped.
International aid to the victims was barred.
To date, the government has totally rethsed to institute an
investigation into the massacre.
Following the same pattern of discrimination and isolation of the
Somali, the government in 1989 ordered for the screening of the
Somali to ascertain that the were genuine citizens. After that, they
were issued with a red card which they were required to carry as an
additional proof of Kenyan citizenship.
Kathurima M'lnoti, 1992, "Beyond the Emergency in North
Eastern Province"
Marc-Antoine Perouse Dc Montclos, 1998.
In 1991, the government finally repealed the North Eastern
Province and Contiguous Districts Regulations, 1966. 1 For the
people ofNorthEastern Province, however, very little has changed.
The North Eastern province has remained a place where the
security forces continue to operate as if an emergency was still in
place. The region is heavily infested with bandits who on various
occasions have confronted the police killing many ofthem. This has
often resulted in security operations that have led to arbitrary
arrests, torture, rape and the wanton destruction ofproperty by the
security forces.
Collective punishment as Fafi MP Elias Shill attests, has become a
regular thing to the people of North Eastern Province:
It is as if the people of the North Eastern are not part
of this country. People have been tortured and killed
for as long as I can remember. I have witnessed it
happen since I was a child. There is no media
coverage of these issues in North Eastern. Human
rights groups have been silent. This communal
punishment is unacceptable. 8
The terror under which the people of North Eastern Province live
was evident when the Kenya Human Rights Commission visited
Garissa. Freshly graduated police officers were being shown round
the town by their older colleagues. The fear of these new officers
See Legal Notice No. 540 of 1991 (29 11 November 1991).
Interview with Hon Elias Shill, Nairobi April 1, 1998
was evident on the residents faces. One resident summarised it as
They are now being shown round before nightfall
when they will start patrolling. That is when the terror will begin. Every year we receive fresh graduates
and it is as if they are all trained to brutal/se. They
beat up people without excuse, arrest them randomly
and loot what they can. It happens every year and
the local people are now used to this ic/nd of treatment. There is very bad blood between the local peopie and the police. 9
Garissa Mayor Osman Mohammed observes that residents have
always called for a change of attitude of the police force:
Since 1963, we have been victims of communal
torture. The police here deal with people in a very
primitive manner and the recent Mbalambala
incident is just a tip of the iceberg. There was a lull
after 1992 but now things seem to be going bad
again. Sometimes we wonder whether the police are
trying to create a rebellion against the government.
We do not deny that there are people here with guns
as there are elsewhere in Kenya and they
occasionally rob and kill people. They shoot and kill
policemen as they kill other Kenyans. Unfortunately,
whenever they is contact between the police and
bandits and a police officer is killed, communal
punishment is inflicted on the entire community. It
Interview with Ahmed Sheikh, Garissa, April 6 1 1998
becomes a matter of the police versus ordinary
people rather than bandits.10
The relationship is such that the people are reluctant to report
banditry for fear of police victimisation. As the Mayor explains:
We have known bandits who stay in specific known
areas but whenever the information is given to the
police, they do not act. They instead turn against the
person who reported or go out and terror/se
The Mbalam bala tortures were sparked off the killing
of a police officer 80 kilometres away. All the senior
officers deny they gave orders. Now three of the
officers who tortured these people have been
identified, including the commander of the operation. We are waiting to see action taken. 1
The practice in government service has been to send officers to
North Eastern Province on disciplinary grounds. This serves to
cement the "special status" tagged on the region since the colonial
days. As a result of this practice the officers resent the posting as it
is often a punishment and take out this resentment on the local
people. Fafi MP Elias Shill therefore argues that the practice should
be stopped: "We are also a part of Kenya and posting to North
Eastern should not be on disciplinary grounds, 112 a view that is
echoed by mayor Mohammed who calls upon the government to
send more Somali officers to North Eastern as they will have more
respect for the local people:
Interview with Garissa Mayor, Siyat Osman Mohammed,
Garissa, April 6, 1998
' Ibid.
The government must show seriousness in protecting
the lives of its people. Illiteracy is very high here
owing to years of neglect but we want to see more
localpolice officers in the region) 3
The Mbalambala Torture.
n March 9, 1998 1 armed bandits ambushed and killed a
police officer between Shaanta-Abaq
and Dujis trading centre. The officer, Yussuf Ibrahim,
was in the company of two other officers
who were escorting a lorry ferrying cattle from Modogashe town
to Garissa. Three days later, the terror began.
On March 12, 1998, Security officers launched a security
operation, at Mbalambala, 80 kilometres from the place of attack
and 160 kilometres from Garissa town, to recover guns stolen from
the ambush. As is the practice, the operation was an unleashing of
brute force. People were pulled from their houses and shops at 3.00
am and herded together, stripped naked before being brutally
One of the victims, Bane Shale, 42, recounted his ordeal to the
I was sleeping in my house in Mbalambala on March
12, when I was woken up at 3.00 am by a contingent
ofKenya police. By their manner, I thought they were
bandits or that their commander had overthrown the
Once oulside, I was taken with 48 others to the bush
three kilometres from Mbalambala market centre
where all of us, men, women and children were
stripped naked and ordered to lie down. They then
tested the direction of the wind with dust. We did not
know what they wanted to do.
The Mbalambala torture
Barre Share
They started exploding tear-gas at us. We were all
coughing, choking and vomiting. The burning gas
was very close to our bodies. One man was burnt on
the buttocks and a boy was seriously injured We
were then put into a lorry and taken to the police
At the post we were tied up with our handc to our
backs. They tied my testicles with a gadget and
pulled It was so painful and embarrassing. I soiled
The Mbalambala torture
myself As I knelt, naked, with my hands to my back,
one police officer requested his commander to allow
him to sodomise me. All the time they were shouting
obscenities at us.
Iwas kicked and viciously whipped They all carried
guns and leather whips.
At 5. OOp.m., those who could bribe the officers were
released. Some gave Ksh. 500 and others Ksh. 1,000.
Those who had no money like me remained in the
cells until the following day, I am still in pain. My
chest stilipains. I cannot control my urine. I have not
received any medical attention.
It is not just the pain that troubles me. It is also the
anger at what they did to me. They have castrated
me. Jam very bitter. Ifisurvive this, I swear to God,
I will certainly revenge.' 4
Fifty six year old Aden Bilat Hadun is the very picture of agony as
he tosses in one of the only two beds in the Garissa lodging rocm.
He cannot talk about his agony. Aden Bilat Hadun has speech
challenges. According Councillor Hussein Aden Abubakar, who
was taking care of the victims, Aden Bilat Hadun was like the
others, arrested from his house and subjected to the same general
treatment. As he lay on the ground, at the torture field, about seven
police officers trampled on him with their boots. They demaided
that he tells them where the stolen guns were ignoring that he had
speech disabilities. Like the rest he was whipped and hit with gun
Interview with Barre Share, Garissa, April 7, 199*. All of the
victims were interviewed on April 7, in Garissa.
The Mbalainbala torture
According to Councillor Hussein Abubakar, they feared that Aden
Bilat Hadun had suffered a broken left rib' 5 He was vomiting blood
and could hardly eat. He also frequently bled from his nose.
Like the rest, he had received no medical attention.
Another victim, 34 year old Hassan Gure Noor has been left with
virtually paralysed hands. He had his hands tied to his back while
naked. Then for hours, he was hung by the hands from a tree. As a
result, he has lost the use ofhis hands. He cannot feed, dress or bathe
himself. The hands cannot feel anything.
As a result of the kicks and gun butt blows, Hassan Gure Noor
complains of difficulties in bowel movement and urinary trouble.
Mohammed Abdile Abdi, a 28 year old Mbalambala shopkeeper
said that he was taken from his shop on the 12 of March and
subjected to the same torture as the other victims:
At the Mbalambala Police Lines, I was tied to a tree
naked like an animal. They then kicked me on the
back, slapped me and called me all manner ofnames.
They demanded guns of which I knew nothing about.
I was hit with gun butts on my chest.
Now I have breathing problems. I am also suffering
nose bleeding. I cannot bend due to the injuries I
' Efforts to obtain the medical reports of the victims from the
Garissa Provincial Hospital were fruitless. The Provincial
Medical Officer of Health (MOH) claimed that the Commis
sion of inquiry formed by the Police Commissioner was yet to
complete its investigations and he could not therefore divulge
the contents of the medical reports.
The Mbalambaia torture
sustained on my back and I have to say my prayers
He showed to the KHRC, rope marks which still ring his arms the
result of being tied to a tree overnight. Like the rest of the victims he
is yet to receive medical attention.
Issa Hassan Mursal is a member of the Mbalambala Security
Committee. He was arrested with the rest of the 38 people and
similarly tortured. He was shocked that the security officers did not
bother to consult the Security Committee at all:
Mohammed Abdile Abdi
The Mbalambala torture
I have never before experienced brutality in such
magnitude. The officers were not the regular ones
based at Mba/am bala. They were brought from
It was very painful to be abused the way they did. The
beat me up badly. I fell on a stone and fell
unconscious. They were so merciless they teargassed me while I was unconscious.
I now cough blood and my left leg pains from the
Another victim of the orgy of the violence is 18 year old Shaiya
Mohammed who was raped by one of the police officers. Shaiya
contracted a venereal disease out of the rape but according to the
Garissa Provincial Medical Officer of Health, Dr Philip Muthoka,
the suspected officer has tested negative to the disease. However the
victim insists that the suspected officer tested positive.
Rape among the Somali community is so stigmatised that few
women would own up to being raped. If unmarried it is impossible
for a rape victim to get a husband. Shaiya Mohammed is however
lucky to have the support of husband through the trauma. This
is how she describes the ordeal:
I am 18 years Old and married with a 10-month-old
daughter as my only child. I live in Dujis Division
within Dujis Constituency.
The police came into my house on the afternoon of
March 12. I don 't know how many came the first
time, but they were several; I was alone at home and
The Mbalambala torture
asked me to produce my husband. I explained that he
was out of town. They left, but they must have marked
my house before they did.
At about 1.00 a.m on the night of the same day, four
officers, who had formed part of the team that had
come earlier on during the day, returned and knocked
on my door. I opened it. These officers were in regular
police attire with jungle jackets. They again askedfor
my husband who I said had not yet surfaced. They
didn 't stay long and left. Before they did, they ordered
me not to close the door behind me.
One police officer sneaked back He approached me
and wrestled with me, encircling my neck with his
hands. I landed on the floor with a thud and my
attempts to struggle were fruitless. He raped me
continuously for what seemed like most of the night.
When light came, it was probably around 4.00 a. m, he
left. I live in a one-roomed house and my 14-year-old
sister was staying with me. He did not touch her but
forced her to hold my daughter in the same room
throughOut the ordeal.
I am lucky because my husband took it upon himself to
care for me and pay my hospital bills. Because 1 am
also married, I have not had to suffer the stigma that
attaches itself to Somali women who have been raped
Victims of this kind of crime do not find husbands
because they are ostracized socially from their
community. Although I am more afraid of policemen
and men in uniform now, lam willing to pursue my case
in court or any other legal forum) 6
Interview with Shaiya Mohammed,Garissa, April 7
The medical view
It was not easy for the KHRC team to ascertain the medical nature
of the injuries sustained by the victims. Garissa town has hardly any
medical practitioners and the government medical officers declined
to assist the team.' 7
However the Garissa Provincial Medical Officer of Health, Dr
Philip Muthoka confirmed that he had examined 15 of the victims
and endorsed their P3 forms.' 8 All the injuries, according to Dr
Muthoka were soft tissue injuries and only one of the victims had a
serious finger injury. Dr Muthoka could not establish when this
wound could have been inflicted but observed that it was septic and
therefore must have been inflicted at least 48 hours before the
examination time. This would fit within the time of the torture as it
took the victims close to a week to move to Garissa town from
One victim, according to the MOH, had a wound on his lower
buttock, which in his opinion could have been inflicted by burning
or by falling on a sharp object. Available video tape show the
victim's wound which he and his fellow victims say were inflicted
by tear-gas burns.
As for the rape victim, the MOH said that no trace of disease was
evident after tests were conducted on the suspected officer.
Efforts to obtain the medical reports of the victims from the
Garissa Provincial Hospital were fruitless. The Provincial
Medical Officer of Health (MOH) claimed that the
Commission of inquiry formed by the Police Commissioner
was yet to complete its investigations and he could not
therefore divulge the contents of the medical reports.
Interview with Dr Philip Muthoka, Garissa, April 7, 1998
The government's position
n March 21, the Minister for Rural Development, Maalim
Mohammed, who is also the area MP
went public with the news of the torture. 9 The issue took
a new turn when the entire group of
North Eastern Province Members of Parliament led by the minister
demanded government action on the multiple torture and accused
the government of treating the people of North Eastern as though
they were "second class citizens who do not deserve protection of
their right to life." 20
The Police confirmed reports of the torture allegations and
thereafter, a committee was constituted by the Police
Commissioner to investigate the tt 2
The Garissa Officer Commanding Police Division, Mr Alphonse
Kalume defended the police operation in Mbalambala arguing that
the exercise targeted suspected bandits and not citizens in general:
The police recovered three guns. A G3 rifle, two AK
47 rfies and one HK21, a weapon deadlier than the
AK 47. Yet when calls for surrender of guns are
made, people surrender only the defective ones. If
banditry is to end, the local population must
cooperate with the police. 22
' East African Standard, March 27, 1998
Interview with OCPD Aiphonce Kalume, April 7, 1998
Efforts by the KHRC to establish the findings of the Committee
were fruitless. Even after writing to the Police Commissioner we
had received no response by the time ofpublication of this report.
For a fuller discussion on torture by Kenyan security forces,
see, KHRC, Mission to Repress: Torture, Illegal Detentions
and Extra-judicial Killings by the Kenyan Police.
The government's position
Given the long history and pattern of neglect and failure to
guarantee security, most residents are understandably reluctant to
entrust their security on the government.
International Law
he Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment binds states parties
to "take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or
other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its
jurisdiction."23 In spite of Kenya having ratified this convention,
torture remains an institutionalised violation, employed by Kenyan
security forces as a routine procedure in their investigations and
Police action in Mbalambala is in the clear breach of the African
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights which recognises the "right
to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being" and
prohibits "all forms of ... torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading
punishment and treatment." 25 The Charter also guarantees that "In
particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained." 26
The International Bill of Human Rights27 in unequivocal language
declares torture a crime under international law. Although not a
For a fuller discussion on torture by Kenyan security forces, see,
KHRC, Mission to Repress: Torture, illegal Detentions and
Extra-judicial Killings by the Kenyan Police.
Article 5, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
26 Article 6, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
The International Bill of Human Rights consists ofthe Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional
International law
treaty, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has over the
years achieved the moral authority of binding law. Article 5 of the
UDHR declares that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." The
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Article 7
employs the similar language in outlawing torture.
The UN General Assembly has adopted a Code of Conduct for Law
Enforcement Officers which, though without the force of law offers
useful guidelines on the limits of power of law enforcement officers.
Article 5 of the Code declares that "No enforcement official may
inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture or other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, nor may any law
enforcement official invoke superior or4ers or exceptional
circumstances such as a state of war or a threat of war, a threat to
national security internal political instability or any other public
emergency as ajustification of torture or other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment." 28
Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, UN resolution
34/69. The commentary to Article 5 points out that the•
prohibition of torture "derives from the Declaration on the
Protection of All Persons from being Subjected to Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
adopted by the General Assembly, according to which:
"[Such an act is] an offence to human dignity and shall be
condemned as a denial of the purposes of the Charter of the
United nations and as a violation of the human rights and
fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights [and other international human rights
Kenyan Law
Section 74 of the Kenya Constitution states that "No one shall be
subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other
The Government therefore has an obligation to ensure that security
officers do not subject any persons under its jurisdiction to torture,
inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment.
The torture that took place in Mbalambala must be seen within the
wider context of the way the Kenya Government has historically
treated the people of North Eastern Kenya. Although torture is
prevalent all over Kenya, the impunity and scale in which security
forces have violated the rights of the North Eastern Province is in its
own special category.
The fact that the rest of the country too has been largely
unconcerned over the incidents of violations in this region has only
helped fuel the fires of repression.
The Mbalamba1atorture took place. The culprits are known and
the evidence is there, as stark and painful as the wounds that the
victims carry. And as a matter of priority, medical attention must be
accorded the victims.
The Kenya Human Rights, having carried out investigations and
made the above findings and conclusion, makes the following
To the Kenya government
1. Security of the person and property is a constitutional and
human right and the Kenya Government has a duty to ensure
the security of the residents ofNorth Eastern Province and their
2. Discrimination of any persons is unconstitutional and a
Conclusion and recommendations
violation of the accepted universal standards. Thus the Kenya
Government must revoke all policies that allow the
discrimination of the peopic of North Eastern Province.
Specifically the requirement that all Kenyan ethnic Somali
carry a card ascertaining their Kenyan nationality in addition
to the Kenyan national identity card should be revoked.
Torture by security officers is a violation of the Kenyan
Constitution provisions and the International Bill of Rights and
the Kenya Government has a duty to prevent it and to carry out
immediate and credible investigations into torture allegations.
The victims must be urgently accorded medical attention.
The Kenya Government must adopt humane and profession
methods of fighting banditry in North Eastern Province and
involve the local people rather than alienating them.
The posting of police officers to the North Eastern Province on
disciplinary grounds must stop.
Communal punishment is in violation of the Kenyan
Constitution and international standards and the Kenya
Government must ensure that security officers do not subject
the people ofNorth Eastern province to this kind of treatment.
The Attorney General must in unequivocal terms denounce
"Communal Punishment."
The Government must carry out investigations into ALL the
violations and massacres that have taken place in North
Eastern Province since independence and ensure prosecution
of all culprits.
Conclusion and recommendations
Development is a right and the people of North Eastern
Province have as much right to development as other Kenyans
and the Kenya Government must ensure this right is respected.
The government must work for the involvement of the
residents in security keeping. The Police must involve the
residents injoint security committees to ensure the people have
an input into their security.
Civic education must be vigorously conducted within the
North Eastern Province and all over Kenya stressing the
integral position of the Province to the rest of the country.
To the international community
There should be a greater focus on the conduct of Kenyan
security forces in the North Eastern Province.
The international community should make investigations into
the activities of the Kenyan security forces in North Eastern
Province with a view to establishing whether there has been
commission of crimes against humanity.