The Star (Nairobi)

30 August 2012

Kenya: U.S. Denies Role in Rogo Death

President Mwai Kibaki was in Mombasa to officially open the Mombasa ASK Show, but also with a strong appeal that peace and unity must be restored. ... ( Resource: Kenya: President Preaches Peace in Mombasa

The US embassy has denied it was involved in Monday's killing of radical Islamic cleric Aboud Rogo in Mombasa. Yesterday, Rogo's lawyer Mbugua Mureithi said he had yet to receive a response to a June 12 letter in which Rogo had expressed fears that the US drones were targeting him, Abubakar Sharif Ahmed and Abubakar Sharif Ahmed who were linked to the international terrorist group al Qaeda.

Mureithi said he had written the letter to Foreign Affairs minister Sam Ongeri and copied Attorney General Githu Muigai. Similar allegations were made by religious leaders and seven MPs who addressed a press conference yesterday. The US yesterday denied accusations that it was responsible for Rogo's killing.

"The notion that we are behind the killings is ridiculous and absurd. We are concerned just like the religious leaders are about the murders and the violence in Mombasa, as we call for calm and restraint, the US will like to see full investigations of the murder," the US embassy public affairs counsellor Christopher Snipes said in response to the allegations by the Muslim leaders and MPs.

Speaking on behalf of the National Forum of Leaders of Muslim (Namlef), Council for Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) and seven MPs, the Namlef chairman Dr Abdullahi Abdi claimed extrajudicial killing of Muslim clerics was going on.

"Rogo is not the first but the seventh cleric who has fallen victim of this summary executions. It is not a secret to us that Americans are using drones to kill innocent people all over the world and those they perceive to be their enemies. We are seeing this repeated in this country. They are using human drones in Kenya who happen to be on the payroll of the Kenyan exchequer. These are the agents of the security machinery that we are condemning. The law is applied equally to every Kenyan and action should be taken against whoever is responsible. Muslims who engage in criminal activities should be taken through the courts and this is the rule of law we all want," Abdullahi said.

MPs present during the press briefing were; Mohamed Elmi (Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands), Najib Balala (Mvita), Aden Duale (Dujis), Abdikadir Mohamed (Mandera Central), Sheikh Mohamed Dor (nominated), Amina Abdalla (nominated), and Mohamed Mohamoud (Moyale).

The chairman of the Muslim Human Rights Forum (MHRF) had on Monday issued a statement giving a list of the clerics whom he claimed had been killed or made to disappear by people they suspected to be the police. They include Samir Hashim Khan and the blind cleric Mohamed Bekhit Kassim who were abducted from a matatu in Mombasa only for Khan's body to be found dumped on the roadside near the Tsavo National Park. Kassim's whereabouts are still unknown.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga also moved to dismiss talk that his November 2011 visit to Israel was linked to Rogo's murder, according to some leaflets circulating in mosques in Nairobi and Mombasa blaming him for the shooting. "These are enemies of Kenya who are spreading leaflets in the mosques in Nairobi and Mombasa saying that Raila Odinga went to Israel to get funds to eliminate Muslims and to fight against Muslims in Somalia," Raila said.

He accused an FM station in Mombasa of propagating the malicious misinformation. He said he has ordered an independent inquest to investigate Rogo's killing. Raila was speaking in Mombasa as two more prison warders injured in Tuesday's grenade attack at Kisauni died. The warders were among 15 officers who were disembarking from their lorry to disperse a group youths who had torched a church at Mwandoni in Kisauni.

One prison warder died on Tuesday while being treated at the Jocham Hospital in Mombasa. Ten others are still admitted at the Jocham and Coast General hospitals. Most of Mombasa had returned to normal yesterday except for pockets of unrest reported mainly in the Majengo and Kisauni areas. Thousands of holidaymakers thronged the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, majority of them schoolchildren making the annual school trips. The included elderly women from the nearby Jumuia Guest House which is popular with church groups.

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