Fear Grips Kilifi Over Regrouping Of MRC


MRC
Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) members have been urged to register as voters ahead of 2017 elections.

This followed after police recovered assorted weapons and witchcraft paraphernalia suspected to belong to members of the secessionist group.

Kilifi County Police Commander Douglas Kirocho said there were indications of planned attacks by the outlawed group which has been pushing for secession of Coast region from the rest of Kenya.

The recovery of the weapons comes just a few days after Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said coast leaders were scared to fight the illegal group in the region.

Some of the items now in possession of the police were recovered in a Swahili house in Kanamai at Majengo Mapya area in Kilifi County after the police conducted an operation following a tip off from the members of the public.

GIANT SNAIL SHELL

The items included 12 machetes, 34 rolls of bhang, a giant snail shell, a bunch of secession leaflets targeting non indigenous residents, a calabash, MRC flag, pot with unknown concoction, three red ribbons and a red and white bed sheet.

According to Kirocho, the paraphernalia are indications of an ongoing recruitment and illegal oathing exercise targeting the youth.

On November 2nd, 2014, suspected MRC members allegedly attempted to raid the Nyali Military Barracks in Mombasa County but they were intercepted by security agencies who managed to shoot six dead suspects.

Police are currently pursuing the owner of the Swahili house after he managed to escape together with suspected MRC members.

On Monday, Interior Cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaissery while on a tour of Kilifi, claimed that MRC members were training in the county’s forests so as to disrupt peace in the region.

He said intelligence showed that MRC had teamed up with terrorist groups and was the principal cause of insecurity in the region.

Nkaissery also accused the MRC of contributing to the problems affecting the tourism sector at the Coast.

He warned that the Government would crush the secessionist group.

INDEPENDENT STATE

Nkaissery said that Coast politicians do not denounce the activities of the banned Mombasa Republican Council for fear of losing elections.

MRC is a separatist organisation based in Mombasa.

The MRC was formed in 1999 to address perceived political and economic discrimination against the people of the coast province.

The MRC was dormant until 2008, when it first raised claims that Mombasa should secede from Kenya to become an independent state.

They argued that secession would liberate the people of the coast province from marginalization by the successive governments in Kenya.

In response, the government declared the group to be an illegal organization, together with another 33 groups.

MRC challenged the decision by the government in court which led to the lifting of the ban in 2012.

Authorities have accused MRC of involvement in a spate of killings in 2012 and 2013, including attacks on the eve of the presidential elections when at least 15 people were killed.

The group denies involvement.

 

By Maureen Murimi

 

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