Kenyan security forces releases three of eight Somali civilians they had ‘abducted’

Kenya has released three people who were among eight people its security forces took along the border between the two countries in an act described as kidnapping, a Jubbaland regional state committee tasked with investigating the matter has announced.

The committee, led by the Jubbaland security minister for state, Mohamed Abdi Kalil, has been in negotiations with the Kenyan government for the release of the Somali civilians taken by the Kenyan security forces.

The eight were taken from the around the town of El Waq along the border between Somalia and Kenya.

According to the committee, one of the eight Somalis died in the hands of the Kenyan soldiers who took them, while three were released.

The committee is working to get the other four released.

The incident had led to an eruption of anger and outrage in Gedo region against Kenyan forces operating in Somalia.

Protests were held in El Waq, Beled Hawo, Gabaharey and Dolow towns, all in the region, calling for the expulsion of Kenyan forces from the country.

In the border town of Beled Hawo, the tensions led to at least two incidences of exchange of gunfire between the Somali National Army and Kenyan Defence forces.

The committee itself was at one point rejected in El Waq, with locals saying they did not trust the Jubbaland administration, a close ally of the Kenyan government, to conduct a satisfactory investigation.