Published On: Tue, Sep 18th, 2018

Kenyan Police arrest four Somalis over Elwak town killings

Kenyan Police in Mandera has arrested four people in connection with last week’s killing of two residents by demonstrators in Elwak town.

At least three people died during the bloody protest over alleged extrajudicial killings in Elram.

Youths demonstrated with placards as they marched to the Anti-Stock Theft Police Unit in Elram in Mandera South. They demanded the immediate closure of the station claiming its officers were behind forced disappearances.

The protests were triggered by the arrest of three men who police believed were behind a landmine targeting the officer’s vehicle. The three have not been seen since they were arrested a month ago.

The protesters hurled stones at the police station. But the demonstration turned ugly immediately Mandera South MP Ali Adan concluded his address to the demonstrators who had converged at a hospital opposite the police station.

The protesters lit bonfires as police fired gunshots. One demonstrator was shot dead.

The demonstrators then turned their anger on non-locals and stoned to death two people. One of the two victims was said to be a medical worker at the hospital while the other was a casual laborer.

Northeastern regional commissioner Mohamed Birik yesterday said police were closing down on more suspects. “I’m warning anyone against inciting the public. Residents should stop taking the law into their own hands. We will firmly deal with those found culpable,” Birik said in his office.

He condemned the lynchings and urged residents to give the government time to investigate the matter.

“If they have concerns, there are channels to address them,” he said.

Birik said investigators had widened their net and were closing down on “sympathizers and those working with terrorists”.

“I want to urge the residents of Elwak not to fall into the whims al Shabaab because what happened nearly border on the narrative of the terrorists,” Birik said.

On Saturday, Governor Ali Roba led a team of local leaders including Senator Mohamed Mohamud and Woman Representative Amina Gedow on a mission to address security challenges in the area.

Roba urged police to conduct an in-depth investigation into the killing of the two non-locals. He said the incident could cause multiple repercussions if left unchecked.

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