Counter-terrorism police admit to extra-judicial killings

Kenyan police have assassinated nearly 500 terrorism suspects as part of an extra-judicial killing program supported by intelligence provided by Israel and the United Kingdom, an Al Jazeera investigation has revealed.

Officers from four units of Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) said that police assassinated terrorist suspects on government orders.

The police killings, according to an ATPU officer, were ordered by Kenya’s National Security Council and run into the hundreds every year. “Day in, day out, you hear of eliminating suspects,” the officer said.

“Since I was employed, I’ve killed over 50. Definitely, I do become proud because I’ve eliminated some problems,” said another officer.

The ATPU officers contend that Kenya’s weak judicial forced them to resort to assassinations, as police have failed to produce strong enough evidence to prosecute terrorism suspects.

“If the law cannot work, there’s another option eliminate him,” an officer explained.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Security Council members — including the deputy president, defense secretary and policy chief — denied the allegations.

In April, Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, an armed fighter known as Makaburi, was gunned down outside a Mombasa court after being charged under Kenya’s terrorism laws. Human rights groups allege police killed him.

ATPU officers confirmed the allegations. “Makaburi was killed by the police,” said one officer. “That execution was planned in Nairobi by very top, high-ranking police officers and government officials.”

Confidential police reports obtained by Al Jazeera allegedly show Makaburi had extensive links to Somali armed group Al-Shabab and planned and financed bombings in Kenya.

According to the ATPU officers, the intelligence that drives Nairobi’s “elimination program,” is supplied by Western intelligence agencies.

“Once they give us the information, they know what they have told us. It is ABCD — ‘Mr. Jack’ is involved in such and such a kind of activity. Tomorrow he’s no longer there. We have worked. Definitely the report that you gave us has been worked on,” the officer said.

A Kenyan National Police spokesman refused to comment on the allegations.

According to the officers, Israel and the U.K. provide training, equipment and intelligence to Kenyan officers on how to “eliminate” suspects targeted by Kenyan security forces.

Israel and the U.K. denied involvement. The U.K. Foreign Office added that it had “raised concerns” with Kenya over the “serious allegations.”

Mark Ellis, head of the International Bar Association, a leading organization of legal practitioners, said the alleged complicity of these countries could violate international law.

“It’s clear, based on these interviews, that there’s at least prima facie evidence to suggest that these third-party countries are involved, and therefore they all have responsibility to investigate,” Ellis said. “We should stop providing any type of assistance or training to police units in Kenya until there is a clear change … in how the Kenyan authorities deal with suspects.”


I called my fiancee in Mandera 157 times

A 27-year old man is still trying to come to terms with the last message he got from his fiancee before she was killed by al shabaab militia in Mandera last Saturday.

Julius Idewa, 27, from Kocholia, Teso North sub county, Wednesday said he last spoke to Violet Moraa, 24, at 4am on Saturday. Moraa was among the 28 killed when the bandits raided a Nairobi-bound bus. She was one of the 21 teachers killed.

“Tumevamiwa niombee” (We have been attacked pray for me) was the last text message he got from Moraa. He tried calling her 157 times but the calls were not answered.

“It was until 11.30pm on Saturday that the phone went off. I never slept that night pondering what could have befallen my wife-to-be, Idewa said.”

Speaking after meeting Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong in his office Wednesday, Idewa said the wedding he planned turned out to be a funeral.

One man killed as violence breaks out on Koinange farm

Tension was high on the 4,926 acre farm owned by the family of the late cabinet minister Mbiyu Koinange in Mau Narok and which the Maasai community in the area has laid claim to for years.

As a result, a middle aged man was killed and another wounded when rival factions at the trouble prone Muthera Farm clashed on Thursday afternoon.

Young men faced off in shouting matches and physical confrontations as women screamed and cried. A senior police officer in the area was also assaulted by locals as he tried to disperse a group of rowdy Maasai morans.

The dead man was identified as 40 year old Kotoine Ole Keshe, a herdsman who was attacked inside his house by a group of around nine men who then set his house on fire.

Keshe died from a single arrow wound in his thigh as his attackers doused the house with petrol and set it ablaze before fleeing.

A second herdsman who was at the scene survived the fire with minor injuries after he poured water on his clothes.

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