Liboi residents cry for justice as scores go missing

Monday June 4 2018

A map of Liboi in Garissa County. At least 14 

A map of Liboi in Garissa County. At least 14  people have gone missing from the town in a span of one year. GRAPHIC | GOOGLE MAPS 

By ABDIMALIK HAJIR
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Relatives of people who have disappeared mysteriously in the border town of Liboi, Garissa, have asked the government to locate their whereabouts.

The residents, who claimed their loved ones were picked by people identifying themselves as police officers,  also accused the government of being involved in the disappearances.

They said their loved ones are yet to be traced despite numerous attempt to locate them.

At least 14  people have gone missing in a span of one year. Liboi is 18km from the Kenya- Somalia border.

Residents at the porous border told Nation they are caught between a rock and a hard place since they are neither safe from terror groups nor security agencies.

ROADSIDE ATTACKS

The town has witnessed roadside attacks targeting security officers, with  assailants  escaping to the neighbouring Somalia.

Some of the relatives said the government should release their loved ones or charge them in court if they are suspected to have committed any criminal offence. The following are the missing persons, according to relatives:

Sheikh Abdullahi Mohamed Yussuf

A prominent cleric and imam of a mosque in Liboi. He is also a head teacher of madrasa in the town. According to his wife Uwah Bundid, the cleric was picked up at the mosque while waiting for breakfast with two others in a Land Cruiser by people who identified themselves as police.

The two were, however, released although their mobile phones were confiscated. “He was a religious man. He has never done anything that violates the laws of this land. He had not  wronged anyone. We must be told where he is and whether he is safe,” she said on Sunday.

Mohamed Salat Hassan

According to his father, Mr Salat Hassan, masked men  broke into his son’s house, beat up his wife and ordered him to board a Land Cruiser before vanishing in the dark on May 6.

He said his son’s case was unique since he was earlier kidnapped by Al-Shabab militants, who accused him and seven others of being government informers.

Four of his colleagues were killed while three of them escaped. “If Al-Shabab kidnapped him and nearly killed him, how can he again be accused of being one of them? It pains me seeing his children suffer as the whereabouts of their father remain unknown,” he said amid tears.

Abdullahi Murshid Iman

According to Mr Murshid Iman, his son, who was a conductor in Garissa, was picked at his work station. The father of three, he said, has been missing for a year.

“We believe the security agencies are behind my son’s disappearance. I want to be told whether he is alive of dead,” he said on Sunday.

Also missing is Farah Yussuf, Dekow Mohamed Khalif, Noor Abdullahi, Sahal, Hussein Jamaa among others.

Local leaders said the cases of mysterious disappearances hinder the fight against terrorism due to mistrust between security agencies and locals.