Kenya’s security forces, including a police anti-terror unit which receives funding from Britain and the US, have abducted and murdered scores of terror suspects in recent months, activists and relatives of those missing have told The Independent.
According to chilling accounts backed up by a report by the Kenya National Commission of Human Rights (KNHCR), some of those arrested have been found dead, their bodies dumped in shallow graves to be devoured by wild animals. Others have vanished into the bowels of the security agencies, their families unable to establish their whereabouts. The Kenyan government stepped up its campaign against suspected members of al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist group, after it killed 148 people, mainly students, in an attack on a north-eastern university in April, the group’s deadliest assault on Kenyan soil so far. But far from stamping out terrorism, human rights groups say, the “illegal” methods aimed at subduing Kenya’s Muslim and Somali communities are pushing more young men into al-Shabaab’s embrace.
“Using the defence that they are fighting terrorism, the security forces are taking the law into their own hands,” said Abdikadir Ore, an opposition MP from the north-eastern Wajir province, who is campaigning for an investigation into the disappearances. Activists conservatively suggest that at least 200 people have vanished since April.