Tags: kenya | separatist | leader | arrest | two | killed

Two Killed in Arrest of Kenyan Separatist Leader

Monday, 15 Oct 2012 07:56 AM

MOMBASA, Kenya — Two people were killed Monday as police arrested the leader of the separatist Mombasa Republican Council, a group seeking to split the popular tourist coast from the rest of Kenya, police said.
 
"Two people whom we suspect are MRC members were killed during the raid and 12 others arrested," regional police chief Aggrey Adoli said, adding that the group's leader Omar Mwamnuadzi was in custody.

"They will be charged in court as soon as possible," he added, noting that an AK-47 assault rifle was seized during the raid, in which four police officers were seriously wounded.

The raid took place at Mwamnuadzi's home at Kombani, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the port city Mombasa, with armed police and supporters reportedly exchanging fire.

A local chief, suspected by MRC members of having tipped off police to the presence of Mwamnuadzi in the village, was stabbed to death Monday as he left his home, an administrative officer said.

Salim Changu "was stabbed in the stomach and head with crude weapons by MRC supporters...there is a possibility that the youths thought he was the one who gave information to the police," the officer, Margaret Mwaniki, said.

The MRC claims that the predominantly Muslim coastal region is not part of Kenya, while arguing that it has been neglected by the central government.

In July, the High Court in Mombasa revoked a 2010 decision to outlaw the group. The government has said it opposes that decision.

The local head of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, Sheikh Amir Banda, warned the raid will heighten tensions in an already volatile area.

"According to the constitution, what the government is doing is wrong, the court said that MRC is not an illegal group," Banda said.

"The government should stop these raids . . . this is a tourism zone and the arrests will scare away tourists."

Police have blamed several violent acts on the group, including a recent disruption of training by the election commission ahead of national elections next year.

Some witnesses suggested the group may have been involved in recent violence in Tana River, a remote area of the coast region.
 

© AFP 2017

   
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Two people were killed Monday as police arrested the leader of the separatist Mombasa Republican Council, a group seeking to split the popular tourist coast from the rest of Kenya, police said.
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Monday, 15 Oct 2012 07:56 AM
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