Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Six people, among them a chief, from Mandera Central were on Tuesday charged in Nairobi with promoting warlike activities. Quracmathow location chief, Mr Abdi Hassan Suraw, was charged together with Mr Hassan Abdullahi Ali, Mr Ibrahim Abdi Salam and Mr Mohammed Abdulla Abdi with being found in possession of dangerous weapons. Also in the dock were two minors arrested with the chief.

The six, who appeared in court a day after former Mandera Central MP Billow Kerrow was charged with inciting violence, denied the offence and acting Chief Magistrate Stella Muketi remanded them in custody to November 19.

The magistrate said the situation was volatile “and it was for their own good and safety to remain in custody.” The six were arrested on October 22 at Qurac
mathow location allegedly in possession of six rockets and 548 rounds of ammunition without a firearms certificate. The police claim this weapons are used to attack the other clans living in or around Mandera. Their lawyer, Mr Anyega Ondieki, however, said they were arrested on October 15 and their constitutional rights had been infringed as they had been in custody for too long.

The prosecutor, Chief Inspector David Wangai explained the delay, saying the suspects were initially investigated for murder following the deaths of three policemen but were cleared of the charge.
All the 6 people arrested are from the Garre Clan which started the war with the Murulle clan in Mandera and that prompted the security Operation. The Gharri clan is accused of "dis-honouring" a previous 2005 Peace agreement in Mandera that saw atleast 25 Garre people killed in El-Golicha in a counter-attack on the Murulles. This comes hot on heels after former Mandera Central MP, Billow Kerrow was arrested briefly and released on incitement charges.

Meanwhile, a man arrested with 600 aluminium detonators was denied bond. Police, who said the matter involved national security, asked the court to deny Mr Mohamud Osman Aden bond as they wished to establish whether he is connected to international syndicates. Mrs Muketi ordered Mr Aden to remain in custody to December 16, 2008. Mr Aden, who was arrested on a Wajir-bound bus on October 30, 2008, denies possessing explosives, acquiring blasting materials without a permit and transporting prohibited material.
And In Mandera, three leaders arrested on Monday were yesterday released without charge. Mr Mohamed Abdow(Former Mandera West MP), Mr Aden Noor (Former Mandera Central MP and a former assistant Minister), and Mr Abdulahi Ali were picked up by plainclothes policeman at Elwak airstrip as they left Elwak District Hospital with Nairobi businessman Mohamed Dido(M.K Dido).

“We had brought a doctor from Nairobi to conduct a postmortem on the body of a man we believe died of injuries received when he was tortured by security officers” Mr Dido said.
He said they were locked up at Elwak police station for three hours before being granted free bond and told that they would face incitement charges on November 8.

He said they were later called and told that charges had been withdrawn.

But police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the four were not off the hook yet.
“We are closely monitoring the movements of the leaders from both the Murulle and Garre clans” Mr Kiraithe said, adding, “we will interrogate anyone involved in the Mandera fighting”. “If they were freed they should count themselves lucky that no charge was made against them,” he said.