Murder of an Infant
A 12-day-old baby was killed in a gun-shooting at Kakuma Two.
Tragedy tore through the Group 20 neighborhood of Zone Two, Kakuma Camp on night of June 24, 2010. Gunshots engulfed the silence as a family situated in the center of the group was vandalized.
That night, armed robbers broke the group’s gate while neighbors were snoring, enjoying their sleep. They nagged a family directly opposite to the broken gate and went behind the house, only to find a young mother breastfeeding her baby. They broke in and ordered her to “bring money or die,” but the poor mother could not produce a penny to save her life or that of her child.
In no hesitation, the armed robbers pointed the dull nozzle of the gun at her, pulled the trigger, and the bullet burnt through the baby who was nursing. The same bullet killed the baby and penetrated the mother beneath the breast.
It was a tearful night when no one came soon enough to rescue the mother, arriving only after the robbers had completed their violence. A close neighbor who witnessed the aftermath said that may others were tortured as they escaped from the community. “These robbers had guns and no one could make a slight move or noise. I heard a voice of a woman in the same group,” said the eyewitness at Group 20.
The dead baby’s and the injured mother were taken by the General Service Unit (GSU) patrol car to the Refugee main Hospital. The mother of the dead baby was in critical condition due to extensive bleeding, and she was immediately referred to Kakuma Mission Hospital (KMH). While in a coma, she underwent an operation and the bullet was extracted from her body.
KANERE visited the mother in the IRC hospital where she was admitted on June 28 to the Female Ward (F/W) and where she remained until early September. The mother spoke of her experience of the deadly murder in which her baby died. She said that the bullet had splintered the baby’s brain. “I am still sick and fearful,” she said.
“She looks very sad and traumatized following her baby’s killing and almost herself, she almost went mad,” a medical nurse told KANERE.
A KANERE reporter was led to the house where the baby died. Eyewitnesses stated that they were newly relocated following the trauma and that they do not have a group leader or security guard. “Nobody is [staying] in this group now, people have deserted the area and the escapees are in zones, one, six, and Kakuma One,” said one man who bravely chose to remain in the area. Some said a cat was found dead which has also belonged to the same family, and that there was a very bad smell in the area.
Both the victim and her husband shared their thoughts with KANERE. “I just feel so much emptiness in my arms where my child should belong. In every dark night I recall when my son was killed,” said the mother. “This is unbelievable to me. I can’t explain. No my words to express huge bitterness,” adds her husband.
Security in the camp must be better addressed so that senseless violence such as this can be put to an end. With better security, it will be very possible to save innocent lives from these frequent losses.