Shakahola Massacre: Identified Bodies to be Released to Relatives

February 16, 2024

In March, authorities will resume the exhumation of bodies in the extensive Shakahola forest, marking the fifth phase of the operation, as announced by government pathologist Johansen Oduor on Thursday.

He further stated that autopsies have been conducted on 429 bodies, with the results for DNA still pending.

Oduor announced that the bodies identified during the last phase of the Shakahola forest exhumation will be released to their families in March as well.

“We are resuming the exercise in March, in which we will receive the results of DNA tests, release identified bodies to relatives and embark on the last phase of the exercise,” Oduor said.

“This will include recovery, identifying, postmortem examination, evidence collection and documentation.”

A multi-stakeholder team participating in the exercise will convene next week to agree on the next steps.

Meanwhile, Oduor disclosed the potential of burying some bodies exhumed from Shakahola in a mass grave due to the refusal of certain relatives to undergo DNA testing for matching purposes.

The reluctance is attributed to the fact that some individuals don’t wish to be linked to their family members who willingly joined pastor Paul Mackenzie’s church.

“Some of them came and gave their samples but some refused because they were telling us the person went to Mackenzie hence they don’t want anything to do with them,” he said.

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