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Short Cuts: 500 of sect missing as police hesitates to search

Flickr photo
Seriously searching for truth? (via Demosh, Flickr)

Mostly unrecognized by any other Western media than the BBC, a police scandal in Kenya is in the making. According to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), the Kenyan police could be involved in the disappearing of nearly 500 members of the Mungiki sect. In a dossier published yesterday, KNCHR alleges that these members were killed execution-style between June and October. There is no direct evidence for police involvement, but the KNCHR draws the conclusion by around 50 corpses they found, the way they died and a lack of investigation into the missing persons. Kenyan police officials deny the claim.

The Mungiki are seen as a kind of religious youth gang whose followers want to gain political influence in the country. They have terrorised the Nothern Hinterland, one of their “traditions“ is to have women circumsized by force. This spring they were involved in blackmailing public transport operators, an operation they conducted by using violence and killings. As a result, Kenyan police officers raided a slum in Nairobi, killing 22, a number of them presumably innocent.

What happened to the missing people, how many of them were really involved in the Mungiki-business and what role the sect will play in the future is as much of a guess right now as the role of the Kenyan police in this (as police forces have a history of corruption and unnecessary violence themselves). Unfortunately, in Kenya any kind of truth is a matter of money, so a anyone’s guess can be the whole mystery may never be solved.

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