Home Head On Activists demand answers over unresolved River Yala murder

Activists demand answers over unresolved River Yala murder

[Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

Human rights defenders are demanding answers from the government over the unresolved murder at River Yala in Siaya County.

Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid says the government should explain to Kenyans on what transpired and that led to the killings and dumping of bodies in the river.

The human rights defender said such inhuman actions had added salt to the already existing extra-judicial killings wound.

“The Government and specifically security agencies should explain this to Kenyans, this issue is of grave concern to any Kenyan,” he said.


Mr Khalid who has been camping at the Yala River and at the Yala Sub-county hospital mortuary in efforts to help families identify their kin says the situation should be amicably resolved.

“The identification of the bodies has already become an uphill task since the bodies are badly decomposed and disfigured,” revealed Mr Khalid.

Among the 25 bodies that were retrieved from River Yala, only two bodies have so far been identified.

Two more bodies were on Tuesday this week retrieved from Yala River’s Ndano Falls section raising the number of bodies recovered from the river in yet to be resolved murders to 25.

The bodies were pulled out even as officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) visited the scene.

A planned autopsy on 21 recovered bodies at the Yala Sub-County Hospital Mortuary was put on hold with authorities saying they were unable to secure the attendance of Chief Government Pathologists.

However, police Spokesperson Gildon Shioso says the government will conducts parallel exercise of identifying the bodies and at the same time conducting DNA test from their kin to help in the identification process.


The hospital’s management has advised authorities to transfer bodies to Siaya County Referral Hospital saying the capacity of its morgue had been overstretched.

Siaya Sub-county hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Bruno Okal says the hospital’s morgue could not accommodate more bodies.

Dr Okal, in a notice addressed to Officer Commanding Police Division in Gem, said the advisory would remain active until the situation is contained.

“Kindly, use the referral hospital mortuary or any other public hospital mortuary for the time being,” Dr Okal advised.

[An activist at the river of death in Yala, Siasa County. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

The hospital disposed nine bodies on October 20, 2021, to create space in the morgue.

The two bodies identified on January 20 were reported to have borne marks indicating the victims had been tortured severely before they died.