Two Mass Graves Discovered in Tana River

Two mass graves have this morning been confirmed in Tana River area, Kenya, by local police chief Aggrey Adoli.

The total number of bodies is unkown and it is uncertain if this will translate into a higher death toll from ethnic clashes that have taken place in the area in recent weeks.

The discovery was made by a team of officers conducting investigations and disarmament in the region. Security forces are awaiting court orders to embark on the gruesome exhumation process.

More details at this link.

The Government of Kenya has variously been accused of taking time to enforce security in the Tana Delta region where more than 100 Kenyans have been killed in recent inter-ethnic rivalries.

6 comments on “Two Mass Graves Discovered in Tana River

  1. What really is going on with these two “grave sites”? First it was said to have 100’s of bodies, then no bodies just buried guns, then the air was said to be thick with the stench of massive number of decomposing bodies. And now there is nothing just a couple of limbs. Is it any wonder that citizens cannot trust this government on anything? There simply is no telling when the government speaks the truth or lie, because all are delivered in the same smoky haze and in a daze. What a bunch of incompetent blathering dolts all in the name of trying to look good or obtain favor.
    Police reforms must happen real fast.


  2. Tana ‘Mass graves’ mystery:

    Kenya’s police have called off the exhumation of two alleged mass graves in the Tana River Delta, saying they only found a human foot there.

    They suspect four bodies had earlier been removed.

    Earlier this week, regional police chief Aggrey Adoli told journalists that an unknown number of bodies were at the two sites.

    More than 100 people have been killed in clashes in the area in the past month.

    The long-running conflict is between the Pokomo people – mostly farmers growing cash crops by the Tana River – and the Orma, semi-nomadic cattle herders.

    There are accusations that politicians have incited the violence ahead of elections next March.

    Mr Adoli has acknowledged that there were no mass graves but has not yet explained where the earlier information came from.

    A court order was obtained and a team of pathologists and gravediggers were sent to the remote region.

    The head of the operation, Antony Kamitu, told the BBC that they believe four bodies were removed before the police found the graves and sealed off the area.

    “We believed the bodies were removed to hide the identities. Our plan was to take fingerprints of the bodies and that would have led us to their origins,” he said.

    “So the operation is now called off.”



  3. Stench of death hangs over Tana mass graves:

    Forensic experts, pathologists and crime scene analysts arrived in troubled Tana Delta area on Wednesday in readiness for excavation of two sites thought to be secret mass graves.

    Head of the operation at the General Service Unit Anthony Kamitu said the exhumation will be carried out on Thursday. Read (Court orders Tana mass graves opened)

    A ring of armed GSU officers was thrown around the sites with a senior officer saying they will stand guard throughout the night.

    The suspected mass graves are located inside a forest about 500 metres from Ozi village, the scene of Sunday’s incident in which houses were razed and villagers have been pointing an accusing finger at GSU officers.

    About 300 officers returned to the village on the bank of River Tana on Wednesday.

    The air around the site was heavy with the stench of decomposing bodies.

    The two graves are marked by freshly dug earth and are covered by twigs pulled down from the trees.

    Several trees have been felled using axes to further camouflage the scene.

    There is also a well-trodden footpath leading from the river bank to the site of the grave, meaning that it is an area that is visited often.

    “We are not certain of the number of bodies buried there but we have credible information from some of the suspects. They helped our officers to trace the location. The place will remain secured until pathologists arrive tomorrow (today) to oversee the exhumation and identification of the bodies,” said Mr Kamitu.

    On Tuesday police moved to the Garsen law courts and obtained an order authorising the exhumation.

    Of interest will be the identity of the victims, the manner of their death and who killed them.

    Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said “all the required personnel including grave diggers, scene of crime analysts and pathologists have been assembled ready for action tomorrow”.

    The GSU arrived in the village at around 5 pm in a convoy of seven lorries and two Land-Rovers and immediately secured the village.

    Earlier in the day, Daily Nation journalists at the scene talked to the villagers, who had emerged from hiding.

    But the villagers were cagey and denied any knowledge of a mass grave until the police arrived.

    They took journalists to an old cemetery in the village in a bid to convince journalists that there were no freshly dug graves.

    Police suspect that those buried in Ozi were some of the raiders killed during the attack on Kilelengwani village in which 38 people were killed, including nine police officers, last week.

    It is believed that the raiders carried the bodies of their dead accomplices and secretly buried them there.

    Mr Kamitu said no burial permits have been sought by villagers since the attacks began.

    The village near the suspected mass graves is inhabited by the Pokomo and police suspect that the raiders might have come from this area.

    The villagers denied involvement in the attack and claimed that those arrested and charged in court are innocent people, identifying two of them as teachers, two assistant chiefs, a Standard Eight candidate and a Form Three student.

    The suspects were allowed to address the court, during which they complained about being roughed up by GSU officers who arrested them.

    The suspects will return to court on Monday. They were remanded at Gamba police station.

    They also said they had been held incommunicado and asked the court to direct that their relatives be allowed to visit them.

    The court session was conducted amid tight security provided by the GSU as well as regular and Administration Police units.

    The government last week deployed about 1,800 paramilitary officers to the area to quell the violence.

    However, fresh violence rocked the region, in Garsen constituency, on Sunday night and early Monday during which 35 houses were torched.


  4. Mystery of two ‘mass graves’ in Tana River County:

    And in a new twist of events, sources told The Standard that the police had confiscated 10 cell phones from suspects in the area, which had revealed shocking details.

    The sources said upon scrutiny of the SIM cards and the M-pesa communication, it was found that the suspects had been communicating and even receiving funds from suspected operatives of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) and other personalities from outside the area.

    More detals below:'mass-graves'-in-Tana-River-County


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