By Adow MohamedSEEKING JUSTICE: Wajir County governor Ahmed Abdullahi. Photo/STEPHEN ASTARIKO
WAJIR County governor Ahmed Abdullahi said his government will partner with local and international human rights organisations in seeking justice for the victims of the 1984 Wagalla massacre.
Speaking in Wajir on Saturday, Abdullahi said they will sue the government to get compensation for the victims and their families.
“We must sue the government of Kenya to compel them to compensate the victims of that heinous massacre. They must also be forced to acknowledge that the atrocity was committed and offer an apology to the people of Wajir,” Abdullahi said.
The governor added; “The government of Kenya is a legal entity which enjoys perpetual succession. Regardless who was in charge at the time of the massacre, any subsequent government must also take responsibility for those crimes.”
He also said the government must be compelled to implement the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission that offered “some sort of remedy” to the victims.
“Subsequent governments had an opportunity to give a chapter of closure to the massacre. The truth commission report offered such an opportunity which remains squandered,” Abdulahi said.
He said those mentioned by the TJRC report and witnesses must be prosecuted.
“The same people who afflicted the pain to our people remain unpunished and are still with us,” Abdullahi said.
The massacre was commemorated on Saturday in Wajir with the screening of a film “Scarred: The Anatomy of a Massacre” a film directed by Judy Kibinge. The film has accounts of survivors of the massacres.
“The culture of collective punishment whenever a crime is committed by few people must stop. My fear is that the same will happen if we don’t hold those who committed former crimes to account,” said Abdullahi.
Former deputy speaker Farah Maalim said the massacre amount to crimes against humanity and added that he will champion efforts in seeking justice from international courts.
“We lost faith in governments. Three decades later, we still cry for justice. Those who killed us still deny what they did,” Maalim said.
The former legislator added; “We must enjoy all civil liberties as enshrined in the constitution. We are Kenyans and must enjoy the same rights as others.”