By Wajir Chronicles
The infamous Wagalla massacre led to the killing of more than 5000 innocent men. There crime? They unfortunately belonged to the Degodia clan of the Somali community.
Kenyan troops descended on the area to reportedly help diffuse clan-related conflict. David Mwiraria, who died on Thursday at a Nairobi hospital after a long illness was by then the powerful PS of the Ministry of Inside (PS Office of the president in charge of Internal Security), along with also had visited Wajir a day before the massacre. What role did he play? How will his death hinder justice for the victims?
In a TWO PART SERIES, I try to unearth along with also answer these burning questions.
the idea is usually February 10th 1984, a sunny morning in This kind of sun baked North East part of the country. Halima Ali Hussein was just newly married along with also like any different girl in This kind of part of the country, she was happily overwhelmed by the treasure she was carrying in her womb. She was three months pregnant.
Her equally excited young groom, Abdullahi Mumin, then aged 24 along with also a casual laborer in Wajir town, was determined to support his young family. With news of Halima’s pregnancy, the future looked promising.
An aura of happiness swept through their modest Somali manyatta (aqal hori) of which evening as the two young love birds sat down on a mat, sheepishly laughed over cup of tea as the sun prepared to set, along with also darkness slowly hovered in.
Their dreams were soon to be shattered along with also flipped upside down by the same people they supposed to offer them protection. of which fateful night, soldiers of the Kenya Army mounted a vicious security operation in along with also around Wajir.
Their orders were clear; round up all Somali men of the Degodia clan. Abdullahi along with also 5000 different men were rounded up along with also mercilessly beaten, bundled onto on-waiting military trucks along with also driven off to the nearby Wagalla Airstrip.
Their only crime; they unfortunately belonged to the Degodia clan, the largest in Wajir District (as the idea was referred to at the time).
As news of David Mwiraria’s death went viral across the country, I instantly embarked on a literary, epic journey of which led me to finding Halima, a victim of the infamous Wagalla massacre.
The once young, bubbly along with also beautiful teenage girl, beaming with hopes along with also dreams of a bright future, along with also currently aged 51, Halima paints a grim picture of hopelessness along with also dejection in life.
She visibly looks older than her age, her protruding cheek bones betraying the hardships in her life.
“People were screaming all around. We jumped out of our bed in fear, Abdullahi wanted to venture out along with also find out what was going on. I held him back along with also pointed at my slightly protruding belly, reminding him of which we both needed him around,” she vividly recalled the events of of which night, her teary eyes almost overwhelming me.
Unknown to both of them, events of which led to the massacre of more than 5000 men on of which day had just begun. Within minutes, armed men in full military gear stormed their house.
Abdullahi was hit with the butt of a gun along with also he fell onto the ground.
“There was so much noise,” she recalled. “People were begging for mercy along with also you could hear the soldiers saying, ‘Catch them, catch them, along with also don’t let them get away.”
Abdullahi was identified as a Degodia, along with also immediately two burley soldiers, twice his skinny size, dragged him out of the manyatta along with also onto the waiting military truck.
Three soldiers remained behind as Halima wailed uncontrollably not knowing her husband’s fate.
“As they stood above me, the idea never crossed my mind of which they intended to rape me. I tried to resist, nevertheless they overpowered me. They repeatedly raped me, along with also left me for dead” she said amid sobs.
Unfortunately, Halima lost her pregnancy as a result of the rape. Abdullahi was killed alongside thousands of different Degodia men at Wagalla airstrip. This kind of massacre was extremely low tech – no gas chambers – just machine guns of our own soldiers.
Mr Mwiraria, was by then a Permanent Secretary of the powerful Ministry of Home Affairs along with also a member of the Kenya Intelligence Committee (KIC) which had visited Wajir a day before This kind of massacre.
The Truth Justice along with also Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) recommended of which all KIC members be investigated along with also prosecuted. the idea also recommended of which they should not hold any public office.
When I revealed to Halima news of his demise at Karen Hospital in Nairobi on Thursday, after a long battle with cancer, the idea hit her like thunderbolt.
Her heartbreak with her own Government over lack of interest in ensuring justice prevails for victims of of which horrendous massacre are evidently seen in her wrinkled eyes.
Historians along with also civil rights activists term the Wagalla massacre “a part of the policy of collective punishment’ – where the State knowingly metes horrendous violence against its own people.
Four days of bloodshed along with also ruthless interrogation by state agents led to death of thousands of Degodia men, many of whom were forced to drink their own urine.the idea remains the worst atrocity in Kenya’s modern history.
“They killed them straight away. The killings took place over four days. At night the butchers rested along with also, guarding the perimeter in order of which nobody might escape. ,” she told me.
Halima is usually just one of thousands of families affected by events of of which hot February day.
There detailed accounts, horrific pictures, earthshaking testimonies along with also retrospective reflections attempt to cope with the hard questions raised by the events of spring 1984.
What motivated my beloved State to plan, execute, along with also devote substantial resources to the butchery of of its citizens? What role did Mwiraria play? What went through the minds of those uniformed soldiers who killed, raped, along with also tortured men, women, along with also children? What is usually of which keeping the international community silent?
As I try to dig deeper, I understand the answers will always remain partial, for no investigative report, eyewitness account, scholarly study, legal procedure, or work of art can fully represent massacre. The cruelty of the perpetrators, the fear of the victims, the cynicism of officials along with also the sights along with also smells of the killing air field will always be hard to grasp.
WATCH OUT FOR PART TWO TOMORROW!!
via Politics – Kenyan News http://bit.ly/2oDgWA1
The Late Hon David Mwiraria LINKED to The infamous Wagalla massacre -The heart of darkness