4 July 2012

Kenya: Mombasa Students Protest Terror

Photo: Capital FM
A bomb explosion on Nairobi's Moi Avenue injured more than 40 people, prompting renewed concerns about terrorism.

Tension was high in Mombasa yesterday morning after anti-riot police attempted to stop university and college students from a planned demonstration.

The students allied to the Mombasa Inter Colleges and Universities Students Association (MICUSA), an umbrella body for institutions of higher learning in Mombasa, took to the streets to demonstrate against increased cases of insecurity in the city.

The police who were armed with guns, teargas and anti-riot gear confronted the students at the Buxton area where the demonstration was to begin. The incident took close to four hours with the students involving the police in a game of hide and seek as they marched towards the town centre. It took the efforts of Changamwe deputy police boss Muturi Mbogo to calm the irate demonstrators. The students were demonstrating against insecurity and grenade attacks that have continued to rock the city in the past few months.

Speaking during the presentation of their Memo to Mombasa acting DC Solomon Chemoton, MICUSA president Geoffrey Mac'Ouma condemned the grenade attacks in the country blaming the government and security organs for laxity in their dities. "We have noted with great concern the increase in the levels of attacks against innocent citizens by unknown people under the watchful eyes of the very government which is supposed to protect its citizens. We have been subjected to a life of fear in our own country because the government has failed to protest us," said Mac'Ouma.

They blamed the government for failing to take precaution even after the US government had issued alerts of an imminent attack which was followed by an attack a day after the alert was issued. Mombasa has experienced a number of attacks, the latest at a beer garden known in Moshomoroni which lead to the death of three people and injured several others. "We want the government to accord citizens the kind of security they give to our dignitaries because we have never had attacks on government offices," said MICUSA security committee chairman Dan Otieno.

The students blamed legislatures for concentrating on changing the constitution in their favor while Kenyans are dying of terrorist attacks. Chemoton assured the students and Mombasa residents that the government is working hard to improve security within the district and the entire country. The students challenged the government to seek assistance from America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Scotland Yard to assist in monitoring and stopping terrorists in the country.

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