By Salah Abdi Sheikh:
This week marks the 32nd anniversary of the the gruesome killing of 5,000 Somalis, most from the Degodia sub-clan. Writer and researcher SALAH ABDI SHEIKH argues that the massacre was a premeditated act of genocide, not a military operation gone wrong. This is the second and last part in the Wagalla massacre series.
The official government reports available show that Wagalla massacre was a military operation gone wrong. According to a report prepared by Etemesi Committee, there was no clear “operational order” given to the junior commanders of the army and the police.
The District Security Committee panicked and made terrible errors and the methods of interrogation they used was unusual and unprofessional.
The acting DC and the OCPD demonstrated clear lack of leadership and tact and in their cowardice left the situation to junior military and police officers.
Etemesi Committee reached one damning conclusion that threw a spanner in the works of all the official truths about the massacre. The District Security Committee members were “to date unwilling to state the truth regarding the incident.
The credibility of the officers is hence doubtful”.
Despite its damning conclusion, there is one problem; Etemesi inevitably relied on doctored reports and explanations of those who perpetrated the massacre that the incident was as result of operation gone wrong.
The more plausible explanation is it was planned that way.
To understand Kenya’s policy towards Somalis of Kenya, one must look beyond the borders in the politics of Somalia and Ethiopia. Kenya and Ethiopia have a security pact that is intended to put up a defense against Somalia.
In all the massacres that took place in North Eastern Kenya, there was instigation of some cross-border activity. When people were killed in Malka Mari, Ethiopian forces or militias had burned a Kenyan military vehicle.
Kenya ended up killing its own citizens because of the policy of not differentiating Somalis wherever idea of “they all look alike” exists to date.