Northeastern residents live in constant fear because of insecurity, eight human rights groups have said.
They said on Wednesday that killings, forced disappearances and wanton destruction of property are rampant. They want anyone found guilty of violating human rights, whether a state or nonstate actor, arrested and prosecuted.
They were Haki Africa, the Wajir Human Rights Network, the Northern Link Development Organisation, the Wagalla Massacre Foundation, the Wajir Good Governance Initiative, the Arid Area Paralegal Network, the Wajir Human Rights Watch and the Wajir Paralegal Network.
“The violators of these rights are both al Shabaab and state security forces operating in the region,” they said in a joint statement.
The groups accused security forces of torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The activists said residents have lost trust in the state organs meant to protect them and their property.
They assessed the state of justice, human rights and the rule of law in the region, and met politicians, state officers, local leaders, victims of abuses and the general public.
“We’ve deduced that the state of human rights in Wajir and the region is appalling. There’s gross violation of fundamental human rights which are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution,” the groups said.
Communities are caught up between al Shabaab militants and the security forces and end up bearing the brunt of torturous operations meted out to innocent individuals, families and groups, they said.
“We call for immediate repulsion of al Shabaab. The people of Wajir are Kenyans and must be protected and their rights guaranteed,” they said.