200 Arrested in MRC Crackdown

  • Police officers at a scene in a previous incident
    Police officers at a scene of crime in a previous incident
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  • Over 200 people were on Tuesday, December 1, arrested in a police operation to stem the resurgence of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) in the coastal region.

    Confirming the arrests, Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata stated that the suspects were nabbed at Mirironi village as they gathered for an 'oath administering ceremony.'

    "The suspects have been taken to various police stations within Mombasa County for further action," he stated.

    The group has been linked to criminal activities in different parts of the Coast region.

    Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata
    Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata (right)
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    Among those apprehended was one of their alleged leaders who had jumped bail on a similar offense at Rabai Police Station and had a warrant of arrest issued against him.

    The security forces had earlier warned of the group's reemergence noting that it had secretly been recruiting members in Tana River County.

    Tana River Deputy Commander Peter Munyoki, disclosed that the separatist group was believed to be operating in urban areas in Kilifi and Mombasa counties.

    He added that they had now moved to Tana River county to expand their base.

    "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 explained.

    The group became vocal in 2008 advocating for the secession of the coastal region from Kenyan territory. The government declared the group illegal after their activities were linked to 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.

    Police from Diani station in Kwale County display some of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) materials at the Police Station’s ground
    Police from Diani station in Kwale County display some of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) materials at the Police Station’s ground
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    In 2019, the police raided a den during an oath-taking ceremony and arrested three members of the group.

    The latest arrests come as Munyoki cautioned politicians in the Coastal region against encouraging the youths to create and use illegal groups.

    criminal arrest suspect illegal