Kenyan ministers threaten to resign to protest harassment of Somalis in Nairobi

Two Kenyan Cabinet ministers have threatened to quit the government to protest the “harassment” of the Somali community in Nairobi’s Eastleigh by security officers.

Defence minister Yusuf Haji and his Northern Kenya Development counterpart Mohammed Elmi, both ethnic Somali, accused the security officers of harassment and extortion.

They also demanded the immediate transfer of all police officers involved in the ongoing security operation in Eastleigh for allegedly harassing ethnic Somalis and looting property from residents whenever they conducted a swoop in the area.

“It is only that Parliament is dissolving soon otherwise we would have resigned to show the government that we are not amused,” said an angry Mr Haji, according the local media reports.

Hajji made the remarks in Eastleigh on Friday while leading a team of MPs from North Eastern Province to hear the grievances of Eastleigh residents and the business community, Daily Nation reported.

“We are telling the Inspector General of Police that we will not tolerate the harassment of our people by his officers,” he added.

The MPs, who included Mr Haji, Mr Elmi, Mr Hassan Duale (Dujis) and Ms Sophia Abdi (nominated) had toured the area in the wake of a massive crackdown by security officers to flush out suspected terrorists following a series of deadly grenade attacks that have killed scores of residents late last year.

Members of the Eastleigh District Business Associations led by their chairman, Mr Hassan Guled, accused security officers of extorting money and looting property from residents whenever they conducted a swoop in the area, allegations denied by the Kenyan police.

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