Kenya forms panel to probe violent gangs

Kenya’s Parliament formed a special committee on Wednesday to probe violent politically linked criminal gangs whose activities have left many dead in recent years.

As security forces pursue a crackdown against the gangs, officials said the 15-member panel should present its findings to lawmakers in eight months’ time.

“We are aware that their activities have led to unmitigated loss of lives, properties and livelihoods,” said committee chairperson Jeremiah Kioni.

The panel will focus on at least five groups: Mungiki, Chinkororo, Kamjesh, Sungu Sungu and the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF), which stand accused of participating in post-election violence at the end of last year.

Mungiki, made up mainly of youth from President Mwai Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe, is accused of carrying out murders and beheadings mainly in the capital, Nairobi, and in the central and Rift Valley regions.

The SLDF is a militia that has been fighting to reverse a government settlement scheme that has displaced the small Sabaot tribe, in the west.

Chinkororo, Kamjesh and Sungu Sungu are politically linked vigilante groups accused of killing rival tribes after the disputed December 27 elections.

The gangs persist despite a government ban.—Sapa-AFP

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