Lamu family desperate over mysterious disappearance of kin

A photo of Ahmed Athman who went missing last Sunday./Natasha Neema

Lamu, KENYA:A family in Lamu is desperately searching for their kin who went missing last Sunday.

40 year old fisherman, Ahmed Athman Bilel, who hails from Kiunga area on the Lamu-Somalia border in Lamu East went missing on Sunday evening shortly after leaving his home for the fishing centre in Ishakani.

His sister, Mulhat Bilel, says the father of seven commutes to Ishakani weekly and always informs them when he gets to Ishakani.

“He left home in Kiunga around 5pm Sunday on his motorbike for Ishakani. He disappeared at an area between home and his destination. His phone has been off ever since. He just vanished,”said Mulhat.

The family has been to all police stations around the area but are yet to receive any news.

His other sister, Tima Mohamed, alleges that Athman was intercepted and taken by security or Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) officers considering he disappeared in an area close to a KDF camp.

They now want the government to clarify whether and why they took him.

Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid said he had received reports of the missing man and was already following it up with police.

Khalid noted with concern the increasing number of disappearance cases.

“Being a country with one of the best constitutions in the world, we must live up to the tenets of our Bill of Rights and respect our laws. The current generation cannot allow a section of our population to continue to suffer one of the worst forms of human rights violations,disappearances,”said Khalid.

Similarly,families whose relatives have mysteriously disappeared at the hands of individuals believed to be security officers in Lamu, want the government to provide them, whether alive or dead.

“We have people who saw a GK vehicle and people who looked like security officers pick him up. Also, the way the police have totally refused to help locate him obviously means they know what happened to him and that’s also what we want to know as a family,” said Amina Abdalla, sister to Abdalla Ali who went missing in June.

The families of Ali Bunu, 42, Lamu born,Malindi based trader Mohamed Avukame, 43, and Imran Makka, 23, who all disappeared under unclear circumstances between 2015 and 2017 are also seeking answers as to what exactly happened to their kin.