8 January 2013

Kenya: Pwani Seeks World's Support in Secession

AN outfit similar to the Mombasa Republican Council has been registered in the US and UK and has been engaging in diplomatic initiatives to help the Coast.

The group has received US$25 million (Sh2.13 billion) in funding. The Star has confirmed that the group, Republic of Pwani, made up of Kenyans living abroad as members is registered and has branches in London, Geneva, New York, Brussels, Riyadh, Beijing, Moscow and Muscat.

The group is seeking recognition and endorsement of the international community to bolster their quest for secession. In email correspondence seen by The Star and in the group's website, the group had on December 17 last year, written to various embassies and consulates in a statement titled 'Republic of Pwani Referendum Process Diplomatic Initiative', in which they had attached a briefing on the process.

"Your diplomatic missions worldwide will be receiving a briefing as will your Ministry of Foreign Affairs through our missions in diverse countries," stated the email signed by 'Pwani representation, South and North Coast' but with no specific name.

The group seeks to have negotiating powers over investment agreements, concessions, entered by the Kenyan government, in regards to the Coast and also advice and report in human and labour rights and set standards for investments, among other roles.

One of their secession plans is to hold a referendum to authenticate the agenda, an idea that the MRC has been fronting as well.A five-judge ruling by the High Court sitting in Mombasa dismissed the call terming it as baseless.

More information about the group is found on the website www.republicofpwani.According to Muslim for Human Rights Organisation executive director Hussein Khalid, the document has been circulated to British, US, Hungarian, Danish, Canadian, Finish embassies among others.

MRC spokesman Rashid Mraja said the group is aware of the circulating document."We got that document. We have done our investigations and found out that it originated from our people outside Kenya. They are our people," said Mraja on the phone.

Khalid called on the government to act swiftly and address the issues raised by the MRC."There are issues really and these people are serious, they have started international mobilisation.

This is serious and the government should consider looking into the matter as it means it is now an international issue and no longer just an MRC one," said Khalid on the phone.

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