Kenyan herder killed by Al-Shabaab - Daily Nation

Kenyan herder killed by Al-Shabaab

Friday January 7 2011

By Issa Hussein [email protected]

A Kenyan herder was on Friday killed in Somalia by members of the Islamist group Al-Shabaab for refusing to part with his five camels as payment for a yearly tax.

The 60-year-old man, identified as Mr Mohamed Muhumed, was among thousands of Kenyans who fled Hamey Village in Damajaley location after a ravaging drought in North Eastern Province.

He is reported to have been shot on the head several times before his entire stock of camels was confiscated.

Muslims are expected to pay zakat, a form of alm, willingly in the first month of the Islamic calendar (Muharaam). The payment can be in the form of animals or money. But in the case of Mr Muhumed there was use of force.

Speaking to the Saturday Nation in Hamey Village, some 10 kilometres from the Somali border town of Hosingo, the Damajaley ward councillor, Mr Hassan Noor Sahal, said Kenyan herdsmen who fled with their animals to Somalia were being forced to pay zakat by the Islamist group.

“The militants are confiscating animals and harassing our people who moved there in search of water,” said the councillor.

At the same time, a mother lost her twins she had given birth to on her way to look for water at a point situated 78 kilometres from the drought-hit village of Homajo in Dadaab District.

The mother, Ms Saadia Ali Idle, said her husband had left with their animals for the Damajaley watering point after the borehole machine in Hamey broke down. Since he was away for three days, this forced her to search for water.

She joined scores of people heading towards the only water points.

After covering 38 kilometres, the tired mother was struck by labour pains and two women helped her deliver safely but with no single drop of water or food to give her.

Mr Ibrahim Abdi, a witness who narrated the ordeal to journalists, said the woman became unconscious and they rushed towards the main road to seek help.

Others, he added, looked for anearby home to get water or milk to save the mother and the two children but to no avail.

Mr Abdi said after five hours, the two children died. Those coming from a watering point later came to the woman’s rescue.