Kenya rounds up thousands of Somali refugees and Somali Kenyans

Amandla Radio, April 2014

On March 31, a blast killed 6 people in the predominantly Somali neighbourhood of Eastleigh in Kenya. Following the blast, Kenyan police rounded up thousands Somali refugees and Somali Kenyans, detaining them in overcrowded conditions in makeshift camps and police stations. Those detained reported that people were beaten and raped by the police and required to hand over money and valuables. Some pregnant women had miscarriages or were forced to give birth while in detention.

Meanwhile, in the port city of Mombasa, on April 1st, Muslim cleric Sheikh Abubakar Sharif Ahmed, otherwise known as Makaburi, was assassinated after attending a court hearing. He is the third Muslim cleric to be killed in Mombasa since 2012. While many suspect police involvement, they have denied accusations that they are to blame for extra-judicial killings.

In this interview, Al-Amin Kimathi, a human rights activist and Executive Director of the Muslims for Human Rights Forum, talks about the crackdown on Somali communities in Eastleigh, the assassination of Makaburi, and how these events relate to counter-terrorism strategies and interests in the East Africa region.