Police Raise Alarm Over MRC's New Strategy

  • Police officers pictured at a scene of a crime as residents look on.
    Police officers pictured at a scene of a crime as residents look on.
    File
  • Police Officers in the Coast Region are on high alert after it emerged that the separatist group Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) has reemerged and has secretly been recruiting members in Tana River County.

    The group has hitherto been operating in urban areas in Kilifi and Mombasa counties but has now changed tact to the rather expansive and rural Tana River County. 

    According to Tana River Deputy Commander Peter Munyoki, the separatist group is believed to be operating within the Mikinduni area of Galole Sub-County. He assured the residents that security officers had been deployed to the region to obstruct the group's operations.

    "We are aware that MRC is recruiting in Mikinduni village and we are tracing down that path. We shall arrest the major perpetrators in no time," he noted.

    Detectives escort three suspects, including a police officer, who were arrested in Endebes, Trans Nzoia County on July 26, 2020.
    Detectives escort three suspects, including a police officer, who were arrested in Endebes, Trans Nzoia County on July 26, 2020.
    Daily Nation

    Deputy Commander Munyoki also cautioned some of the local politicians who were encouraging the youths to form militant groups ahead of the 2022 elections. Munyoki also warned clerics who held secret meetings with the youth in secret places, saying the action would be deemed as a plot against the county's security.

    "We will only allow gatherings that are legal and objective. The aspect of radicalising the youths will not be tolerated and we shall deal with it accordingly," he warned.

    Munyoki admonished residents who aided the group by not coming forth with information regarding the group. He called on the locals to steer clear of the culture of secrecy stating that it further endangered the community.

    "We need to work as a team to kick out any criminal activities that will jeopardise the peace of this county. That can only happen when you decide to share grassroots information with us," he said.

    The group became vocal in 2008 advocating for the breakaway of the coastal region pushing for the creation of a new independent state from Kenyan territory. The government obstructed their activities once the group's activities were linked with the terror group Al Shabaab.

    The group moved to court which saw the High Court lifting the ban on the separatist group. This decision was further upheld by the Court of Appeal in July 2016. This move led to the acquittal of most suspects linked to the group.

    In 2019, authorities at the Coast raised alarm over the return of the dreaded MRC after police received intelligence reports over its resurgence. Acting on the reports, the police raided a den in Kaya Jibana in Kilifi, believed to be a training ground, and arrested three youth who were part of 50 people taking part in the oathing exercise.

    Kaloleni Police Boss Kennedy Osanda revealed that among the arrested was a suspected witchdoctor and his son who were conducting the oath-taking exercise. During the arrest, the sleuths recovered a cache of weapons including 10 machetes, arrows and bows as well as blood and red strips of cloth.

    Police officers at a scene in a previous incident
    Police officers at a scene of crime in a previous incident
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