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Kenyan woman whose skeleton was found in Germany to be finally laid to rest


A Kenyan woman who went missing in April in Germany and her skeleton found in mid-June will finally be laid to rest.

Ms Rita Awuor Ojunge, 32, was reported missing after she failed to return to the asylum shelter in Höhenleipisch where she lived with her husband and two children.

Her skeleton was later found in Brandenburg, Germany.

On Tuesday, her cousin, Caroline Atieno, gave out the details of her burial which she is organizing after police released her body for burial.

Her mother, Felista Adhiambo Onyango, traveled from Kenya in October to come and bury her daughter, but she was not allowed to do so and had to travel back.

According to Ms Atieno, the burial will be held on Saturday, December 14, from 11am at the Alter Domfriedhof der St. Hedwigsgemeide, Linsenstrasse 8, 10115, Berlin.

Her disappearance was shared to various media houses including Nairobi News, with the description that she was last seen dropping her two children at a neighbour’s house.

In June, Police in South Brandenburg released a press statement to confirm that, DNA of remains found in a forest matched those of Rita Awuor Ojunge who had been missing.

CAUSE OF DEATH

The cause of her death still remains unclear with police officers attached to the South Brandenburg Police Department saying investigations they are still ongoing.

The mother of two migrated to Germany from Kenya in 2012 and lived in a refugee shelter in Hohenleipisch in Brandenburg until her death.

The father of her children had told the police that he feared an act of violence by a neighbour in the home – however, they did not investigate this.

In August, “Women in Exile and Friends” held a demonstration in Germany demanding justice for Ojunge.

Around 60 people attended the demonstration in front of the interior ministry for the state of Brandenburg, according to the organizers.

The activists called for a thorough investigation of the death and also demanded the closure of the refugee home that Ojunge was staying in when she was killed, as well as the overall ultimate shutdown of all communal shelters.

MISSING PERSON

Migrant and crime victims’ rights activists in Germany criticized the police, saying that they did not act early and decisively enough after Ojunge’s partner filed a missing person’s report.

They suggested that the authorities would have acted faster and would have invested more resources had Ojunge been a white, native-born German rather than a migrant.

The police denied these accusations, saying that they followed standard protocols and thoroughly investigated Ojunge’s disappearance.

According to the migrants and refugees living there, the shelter is not only badly connected to transport links – for example, buses don’t run there on the weekends – but is also in bad shape structurally and hygienically.

The German newspaper taz said that it had received cellphone video footage showing “cockroach infestations in the showers and rooms.”

The municipality has denied these claims, telling local broadcaster rbb that the “site is fundamentally suitable as accommodation for asylum seekers.”

The company that operates the shelter has also denied the claims.