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Rights body to hold inquest on security abuses in coast

Wednesday September 14 2016

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Jedidah Wakonyo (left) and chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori address the press on September 14, 2016. Ms Mbogori said at least 303 cases of extra judicial killings, disappearances, torture and related human rights violations have been reported in the Coast region between 2013 and 2016. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Jedidah Wakonyo (left) and chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori address the press on September 14, 2016. Ms Mbogori said at least 303 cases of extra judicial killings, disappearances, torture and related human rights violations have been reported in the Coast region between 2013 and 2016. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WINNIE ATIENO
By WINNIE ATIENO
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The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) is set conduct an inquiry on how insecurity has impacted on human rights in the coastal region.

The commission announced on Wednesday that the inquiry would seek to unearth and analyse rights impact of insecurity in Mombasa, Kwale, Tana River and Lamu which are the hardest in terms of extra judicial killings and enforced disappearance of people suspected to be connected or sympathetic to terrorist groups.

KNCHR chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori said in Mombasa that the investigations would take three months and would begin in October.

“The public inquiry will seek to unearth and anaylse the human rights impacts of insecurity in these areas. Prevalence of insecurity, the impact and the cost of impact of insecurity in terms of disruption of livelihoods,” Ms Mbogori said at a media briefing at Pride Inn Hotel.

She urged families which have suffered at the hands of the security agencies to come forward during the public hearings.

After the public inquiry, the commission will forward the report with recommendations to the National Assembly and the President, she said.

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Between 2013 and 2016, says the commission, at least 303 cases of extra judicial killings, disappearances, torture and related human rights violations have been reported in the region, she said.

On his part the vice chairman George Morara said investigations into insecurity pointed to a worrying trend of loss of lives at the hands of terrorists, extra judicial killings and arbitrary arrests, forcible transfers of vulnerable people and massive destruction of property.

“There has also been an increase in the casualties among the law enforcement officers, a trend rarely witnessed in the past. In Coast terrorism is a major topic which we will unearth,” he added.

The commission said previous security report indicates that in 2012, over 100 people were killed and thousands displaced in ethnic violence between communities in Tana River County.

In 2014, the commission documented more than 100 people who were killed and thousands displaced in Lamu County.

The commission would also conduct a similar investigations at the former north eastern province.