Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Wagalla Massacre

While watching the news last night i never knew that there was a massacre in Kenya, so out of curiosity i decided to researh on it and share with who ever is interested in it too. Here is a brief summary and the link if you want to know more about it.

ON 10TH February 1984, the Kenyan Security Chiefs initiated operationbloodshed, the Kenya Government’s final solution to the Somali problem. On this day, the Kenyan Airforce supported by the military, the police and the Provincial Administration rounded up over 5000 men forced them into a disused airstrip at Wagalla and started slaughtering them one after another. The rounding up of men was coupled with rape, assault and burning of houses. The target was a particular Somali clan, the Degodia. As the forces went around arresting people, they first politely asked them of their clan before descending on them. Informers who knew all the prominent men from the target clan accompanied the forces and pointed out to them the identity of the people they met. The traditional demarcation between Somali clans assisted the forces in their foray for their victims; Bulla Jogoo was naturally the first target. They arrested all the men, beating them to pulp before throwing them into waiting vehicles and ferrying them to newly constructed Wagalla Airstrip. All the houses in the area were burnt, some women were raped and the army took anything of value.

Some believe that Somalis themselves were behind this. For record, at the time, the men at the helm of the miltary and internal security were Somalis. While others see connection to the perceived fear of Somalis by the Kenya government. Whatever angle you look at it, this was a nazi type extermination of a people. The connection to Somalia is also suspicious. A story commonly believed by the Degodia clan of the cause of their predicament is the conspiracy between Somalia and Kenya in executing this massacre. It started with a murder in Somalia of a Degodia man. According to the Somali law the penalty for murder is death but the Somali authorities released the suspect without charge because he was a relative of the former Somali president Siyad Barre.

See how politics plays out, will there ever be  justice served for lives that were lost and especially those who are left psychologically crippled by it?
Funny enough for years the Kenyan government has denied that a massacre took place and insisted that "only 57 people were killed in a security operation to disarm the residents". It was not until October 2000 that the government publicly acknowledged wrong doing on the part of the security forces.
Now that they know it, what are they going to do about it?

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