The Kenya police have arrested 46 members of the outlawed Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) in the coastal county of Mombasa. At the time of the arrest, the group members were taking illegal oaths at the beach where also several membership cards of MRC were recovered.
Likoni divisional police commander Benjamin Rotich said security officers ambushed the group, suspected to be behind insecurity in the coastal region when it was holding an illegal meeting at a popular beach.
The police further said that the group was comprised of elders and youth that were believed to be strategizing as well as inducting new members. MRC has been directly linked for colluding with al Shabaab along the Kenyan coast and launching attacks on people they feel are not natives of the coastal counties.
In the past years, MRC has increasingly shown the workings and formation of a violent Islamic group masked behind a secession agenda and land and property rights of the coastal natives. Most of the suspects have been identified to hail from Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa and Lamu counties.
Intelligence reports indicate that the MRC may have been receiving funding from Somali insurgent group al-Shabaab to carry out terror attacks in the region including the killing of more than 60 people in Lamu in 2014.