List of massacres in Kenya

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The following is a list of massacres in Kenya and its predecessor polities (numbers may be approximate).

Major massacres
Name Date Location Deaths Notes
Garissa Massacre 1980 Garissa, North Eastern Province over 3,000 deaths[1] The Garissa Massacre was a 1980 massacre of ethnic Somali residents by the Kenyan government in the Garissa District of the North Eastern Province, Kenya. The incident occurred when Kenyan government forces, acting on the premise of flushing out a local gangster known as Abdi Madobe, set fire to a residential village called Bulla Kartasi, killing people and raping women. They then forcefully interned the populace at Garissa Primary School football pitch for three days without water or food, resulting in over 3000 deaths. Residents apart from Somalis were given permission to leave the school pitch unharmed. The government of Somalia, then led by the Supreme Revolutionary Council, intervened by threatening that if such brutalities did not cease, the Somali military would overthrow the Nairobi regime and occupy the country. Consequently, the Kenyan government lifted the curfew and released the detained individuals unconditionally.
Isiolo Massacre 1960s Isiolo (now Isiolo County) 2700+ Over 2,700 Killed During 1960s Isiolo Massacre. Civilians of the Kenyan Somali community were murdered by the Kenyan security personnel of the then President Jomo Kenyatta, including the Isiolo Mosque Massacre of 18 elders of the Kenyan Somali community in 1967 during prayer time at around noon. The Kenyan Government was responding to the shifta insurgency and they shot all the men they found. During the state of emergency in 1960s, most of the young Kenyan Somali men left the province due to the injustices and killings. The victims estimate the number of those shot dead during the state of emergency, when thousands of pastoralists were put into three concentration camps at 2,700.
Wagalla Massacre February 10, 1984 Wajir District, North Eastern Province 5,000[2] The Wagalla massacre was a massacre of ethnic Somalis by Kenyan security forces on 10 February 1984 in Wajir County, Kenya. The Wagalla massacre took place on 10 February 1984 at the Wagalla Airstrip. The facility is situated approximately 15 km (9 mi) west of the county capital of Wajir in the North Eastern Province, a region primarily inhabited by ethnic Somalis. Kenyan troops had descended on the area to reportedly help diffuse clan-related conflict. However, according to eye-witness testimony, about 5,000 Somali men were then taken to an airstrip and prevented from accessing water and food for five days before being executed by Kenyan soldiers.[1]

According to a commissioner with the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission of Kenya, a government oversight body that had been formed in response to the 2008 Kenyan post-election violence, the Wagalla massacre represents the worst human rights violation in Kenya's history.

Minor massacres
Name Date Location Deaths Notes
Kisumu Massacre 1969 Kisumu Over 11 deaths Several civilians were murdered by security personnel of the then President Jomo Kenyatta. The casualties included school children who were to perform for the president and innocent traders from a nearby market.[3]
Chuka Massacre 1953 Chuka, Eastern Province 20 civilians, including one child[4]
Garissa University College attack April 2015 Garissa, North Eastern Province 148
Lari Massacre March 26, 1953 Lari near Nairobi 150
Turbi Massacre July 12, 2005 near Marsabit 60 22 were children
2012 Tana River District clashes August 22, 2012 Tana River District 52 Ethnic-communal clashes between Orma and Pokomo people


See also


  1. ^ p.10 Legal Impediments to Development in Northern Kenya, Ahmed Issack Archived 2012-10-23 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Wagalla massacre: Raila Odinga orders Kenya probe". BBC News.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Anderson, David; Bennett, Huw; Branch, Daniel (2006). "A Very British Massacre". History Today. 56 (8): 20–22.
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