Kwale, Kenya, Apr 3: Kenyan police said on Wednesday they are interrogating 17 suspected members of the outlawed separatist group, the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) in the coastal Kwale County. Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the suspects aged between 41 and 84 years were arrested in a residential house on Tuesday in Diani, a tourism resort region. "The suspects were nabbed as they assembled at a house in Kibundani area," DCI said in a statement.
Kwale police said they had recovered membership registers and contributions at the said house. The suspects are set to be arraigned in court law Wednesday after investigations have been completed. The police have been accusing the MRC, an increasingly violent Islamic group of working in cahoots with al-Shabab terrorist group, to carry out the gruesome attacks in the coastal region.
MRC whose key agenda remains largely unclear beyond the call for the separation of Mombasa and the coastal region from the rest of Kenya is also charging that the coastal people's rights to land and property ownership has been violated. The group's grievances are mostly about marginalization and land rights are shared by many on the coast.
On 2010, the government declared the MRC, together with 32 other organizations, illegal on grounds that they were not properly registered and were bent on engaging in criminal activities. Security agencies suspect the MRC could be receiving funding from Somali insurgent group al-Shabab to carry terror attacks in the region including the killing of more than 60 people in Lamu in 2014. (UNI-XINHUA)