Kenya Somali Community of North America
Monday, February 25, 2008
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Today, February 25, 2008, is exactly 24 years since the horrific massacre that took place when the Kenyan security killed over 400 Somali men. Today, we are submitting a memo to the Kenya High Commission in Ottawa at 415 Laurier Avenue East Street from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. This is to mark the 24th anniversary of the Wajir Massacre. This act of genocide occurred in 1984 in Wagala near Wajir. The massacre itself occurred following the rounding up of five thousand Somali men and their removal to the Wagala air strip, while their homes were being burnt to the ground. The men were detained within a barbed wire enclosure over a four day period, forced to strip and denied food and water. The massacre has been devastating to the morale of Somalis, the majority of whom are too intimidated to take any action in case of further reprisals. To the Somalis, the Wajir Massacre is one of the gravest in a sad history of brutal massacres, including Malkameri in 1996, Garissa in 1980, Madogashe in 1982 and Bagala in 1989. Since none of these massacres has ever been investigated, the pattern of repression of the Kenyan Somali people continues.
Hundreds of families of victims of the Wajir Massacre are in the Bula Jogoo area of Wajir and are still in a state of destitution depending solely on relief aid. They have never been compensated for the massacre by the Kenyan government. At the time of the Wajir Massacre there was an international outcry and many western countries showed their concern and protested to the Kenyan government. Among them were Canada, Britain, United States of America, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Finland, Australia, Austria, Ireland, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium. The Kenyan government has, for the first time, admitted that the horrific Wajir Massacre occurred sixteen years ago and that hundreds of ethnic Somalis were killed in the Wajir district in the northeastern province of Kenya during this massacre.
We, the Kenyan Somali Community of North America, are calling on the Kenyan Government to take the following actions immediately:
Appoint an independent commission of inquiry into the Wajir, Garissa and Malkameri Massacres.
Compensate the bereaved families of the 381 people that the Kenyan government admitted had been massacred by its security forces.
Immediately bring to justice those who were responsible for these heinous crimes