Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Report on Kenya´s security forces abuses in the fight against Al-Shabaab.

We have added in the Reports section a recently released report by Human Rights Watch and the Kenya Human Rights Commission entitled  Insult to Injury documenting the abuses, arbitrary detentions and excessive use of force by Kenya´s Security Forces in the aftermath of an attack by Al-Shabaab  against villages and vehicles in Lamu County. It is not the first time (2012, 2013) that Kenya´s security forces (UK and US trained) are held responsible for human rights violations in their counterinsurgency operations.

Background
During five weeks between mid-June through July 2014, armed gunmen who in most cases claimed to be part of the Somalia-based armed Islamist group Al-Shabaab, attacked a passenger bus and at least eight villages in the Kenyan coastal counties of Lamu and Tana River. The attackers killed 87 people including four security officers, and destroyed approximately 30 buildings and 50 vehicles. Kenyan security forces were slow to respond to the attacks, leaving villages unprotected and when they eventually responded, their actions were of ten discriminatory, beating, arbitrarily detaining and stealing personal property from Muslim and ethnic Somalis in the two counties. A year later, despite numerous law enforcement operations along the coast, hundreds have been arrested and mistreated, only to have charges dropped for lack of evidence and no one has been held responsible for the attacks.