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Stop targeting Somalis in Eastleigh, says Raila

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has broken his silence on the ongoing mass arrests and incarcerations in Kenya and urged the Jubilee government to halt “the indiscriminate harassment of a particular community”.

Speaking in Buckhead, in the US state of Georgia on Friday, Mr Odinga said targeting one community was a violation of human rights and the law of the land.

“I totally empathise with the families affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Likoni and Eastleigh, but the approach the government has taken leaves a lot to be desired. This blanket condemnation of an entire community must stop forthwith,” he said.

Mr Odinga said the government should re-examine its intelligence gathering mechanisms and act like “a 21st century government.”

The Cord leader also took issue with the manner in which the suspects were being handled.

“This reminds one of the Mau Mau days when the British handled Kenyans in the most brutal and inhumane manner imaginable,” he said.

Mr Odinga was reacting to reports of ongoing mass arrests, mainly of Somalis living in the Eastleigh area, to root out illegal immigrants.

On Thursday, the ODM leader wondered why the government has not yet formed an inquiry into the Westgate Mall attack even after the President promised Kenyans to do so. 

“Close to a year after Westgate, the gaps in our security exposed by the attack that killed 70 people and wounded hundreds others have not been closed. The government has inexplicably refused to form an inquiry into how the attackers in Westgate got here,” he said.

Mr Odinga spoke to the Sunday Nation soon after laying a commemorative wreath at the Martin Luther King Jr mausoleum in Atlanta.