Days after the media highlighted the presence of 11 decomposed bodies retrieved from River Tana by police and lying unclaimed at Garissa Referral Hospital mortuary, families with missing kin from across the country have started streaming into the facility to check if their loved ones are among the dead.
Today, five families visited the morgue though none could physically identify the bodies because of their condition.
Speaking to journalists outside the morgue, Peter Mariga from Kisii County who works in Garissa said three of his relatives have been missing for last one month.
Mohamed Siyat from Tana River County is looking for his two brothers, Mohamed Ismail and Jibril Sawane, who he alleged were kidnapped from Hola on April 12, 2018 and they have not been traced to date.
“It’s three months since we started looking for our brothers but all has been in vain. We reported the matter to different authorities but nothing has been forthcoming,” Mohamed said.
Among those who visited the morgue are also the relatives of Ahmed Farah who disappeared in 2014 and has not been found to date.
The families are now calling on the government to help facilitate DNA testing since the bodies are in bad shape and physically unrecognizable.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) coordinator for North Eastern region Thuo Kinyanjui said the commission will work closely with relevant government agencies to unveil the mystery behind the torture, killing and dumping of the bodies in river Tana.
Kinyanjui further called on the county government to ensure that they do not dispose off the bodies without following the right procedure.
“The moment we received reports that the bodies showed signs of torture, we immediately deployed a team here to review the bodies and see if they were identifiable marks of torture and ensure that no disposal of the bodies will be done without proper procedure,” Kinyanjui said.
“There has to be medical investigations and if possible samples of DNA collected and properly stored for further investigations,” he added.
Kinyanjui however regretted that the bodies ‘as they are cannot be identified since they are badly decomposed’.
“It is clear that the bodies were immersed into water after the killing because none of the bodies show signs of bloating, a sign of bodies having drowned,” he said.
He urged the families who have lost their loved ones in the last three months to come forward to help in matching their identity through DNA