Kenya police arrested MRC members in Mombasa

(The Star) - Police in Mombasa this morning conducted raids on homes belonging to individuals suspected of being members of the Mombasa Republican Councils.

The council's coordinator for Likoni Ali Mwatebe was among three MRC members arrested in Kwale. An MRC elder from Kinondo was also apprehended. The suspects have been arraigned in court.

The wife of the MRC spokesman Rashid Mraja was earlier arrested but was later released after interrogation. Mraja who was one of the targets of the operation was not caught and is said to be in hiding in Mskiti Musa mosque in the Majengo area.

Police also confiscated phones and other documents during the raid. Kwale DCIO Mwenda Ethiaba said those arrested will be charged with various offenses including being found with secessionist material.

Additionally, they are to be charged with the spate of recent violence in the Coast including an attack on Fisheries minister Amason Kingi during a rally last week by youths armed with pangas believed to be members of the MRC. Four people including Kingi's bodyguard were killed in the attack.

The MRC have denied responsibility for the attack. The group have been demanding the secession of the coast region and have been carrying out a campaign to stop people from taking part in the forthcoming general elections.