The rate at which Kenyan-Somali girls and children are being kidnapped, abused or murdered if ransom is not paid, is alarming residents in the Kenyan capital on Thursday.
Kenyan-Somali’s are living in fear in the capital after cases recorded by police revealed that criminals were out to kidnap girls and children and then ask their families for money.
Videos have surfaced online showing victims being tortured, abused and barely alive. They are forced to send a video message to loved ones asking for huge sums of money and failure to do so results in the victims being not released.
The latest is of Hamsa Abdulwahab, 23, who was kidnapped in Nairobi. A video was soon released showing her with serious injuries and her asking her family to give kidnappers what they want.
Family member Omar Iso said his cousin was “kidnapped while she had left her business premises. The kidnappers have called us constantly asking for ransom and sharing videos of our tortured relative. We need help.”
The news has been trending on social media across the east African country.
In the Eastleigh and South C areas of Nairobi where ethnic Kenyan Somalis live as a majority, there is panic and fear.
“I will never walk alone without protection from friends,” Halima Yassir told Anadolu Agency. “People are now scared of walking out there, especially for us Kenyan-Somalis. The kidnappers think we have money but we have nothing,”
The Kenya Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) said in a statement that the number of kidnappings and deaths have raised serious security concerns among Kenyans and the group asked Kenyans, in collaboration with the security apparatus, to stop the sad trend of missing, murdered children, girls and individuals.
Sheikh Abubakar Bini expressed concerns about the kidnappings, especially of young children and juveniles younger than 18 years old, females of wealthy families and businessmen, among others.
“We strongly condemn the constant attacks on children and abductions of girls and individuals across the country. This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for young girls and individuals to go through,” he said in a statement.