I was in my house in Pandanguo village with three other colleagues having dinner at around 8pm. Suddenly a group of about 10 men, clad in army uniform and armed with guns and knives walked into the house and forced us to lie down on the floor. They hand tied us to the back with ropes and forced us to walk with them into the forest. When we got to the forest, we saw another group of armed men bringing two other persons whom we knew. We the victims (now 6 of us) were forced to kneel down and they began attacking us with me being the first one to be cut from behind my neck with a knife. As they were attacking me, I managed to untie my hands and shoved away the person who was attacking me and ran away into the dark. I hid at a nearby thicket, bleeding profusely and watched in shock as the attackers went on to slaughter my 5 colleagues and then left. I remained at my position until the next morning when I managed to drag myself to my home.
Five people were confirmed dead the next morning having been slaughtered by their assailants.
According to official government records, 65 people have been confirmed dead from the three Mpeketoni attacks (see annex for names) with a few others unaccounted for to date. However, villagers claim that the number is much higher than that and there are many more who have not been seen since the attacks began. All those who died were men as the attackers are said to have made sure they avoided women and children.
Out of those who were killed, 35 were from one ethnic community with 15 being from another ethnic community. The rest were a mix of other communities. Besides hundreds of police officers having been deployed to the area to beef up security, top national security officials also visited Mpeketoni. These include the Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security, the Inspector General of Police and several other elected leaders including the Governor of Lamu County.
After the first and second attack, Mpeketoni was deserted for days as the government tried to beef up security by sending a contingent of armed police to keep vigil. The County Commissioner of Lamu was suspended as well as other senior security officers from the area as investigations on the killings were began. It is worth noting that even with beefed up security, people still did not feel safe and that actually attacks still occurred as was the case on 24th June 2014. Many villagers made their way to a camp set up by the government between Maporomoko village and Kitale village for security, food and water although the government was quick to state that the camp was rather a feeding centre and not a camp for displaced persons. Groups including red cross, government’s national disaster management and others were on the ground to help deal with the aftermath.
The families of the deceased are slowly being assisted to rebuild their lives in the wake of the losses they have suffered. Although there can be no replacement for a dead kin, different institutions have amongst others, paid some money to families to help with burial and other related costs. According to the Lamu County Commissioner these include the Lamu County Government which gave each family of deceased person Kshs 100,000 and the National Disaster Management unit which gave each family Kshs 50,000.
The situation at the camp is not as good as expected. The food that is being distributed is not enough to cater for the swelling numbers. Medical attention is also not adequate. Tents that have been provided can only cover a few and many are left to sleep and spend their days out in the cold and sometimes in the rain.