The Star (Nairobi)

1 February 2013

Kenya: U.S. Denies Claims of an 'MRC Group' in New York City

THE American embassy has denied reports that an outfit similar to the Mombasa Republican Council has been registered in the US and UK.

A group calling itself Republic of Pwani claims it is made up of Kenyans living abroad and that it has branches in London, Geneva, New York, Brussels, Riyadh, Beijing, Moscow and Muscat.

However, a communication from the US embassy to the Muslims for Human Rights says the group is not registered with the Internal Revenue Service.

The communication was prompted by a letter from Muhuri seeking to know if such an organisation has been registered in the US.

Muhuri executive director Khalid Hussein had asked for confirmation on whether the organisation exists in a letter to the embassy dated January 9.

"We have come across information on a group known as The Republic of Pwani. This information is available on www.republicof- pwani.com.

The website indicates that the group is registered in the US vide the revenue section," said Khalid's letter. In response, the political counselor at the US embassy, John Haynes, said the name Republic of Pwani does not appear in a list of taxexempt organisations published by the Internal Revenue Service.

"...contrary to the group's claims, we find no evidence that it is registered with the internal revenue service in the US," the letter said.

The group, is allegedly seeking recognition and endorsement of the international community to bolster their quest for secession.

The group says it is planning a referendum on secession, an idea that the MRC has been fronting. MRC spokesman Rashid Mraja said the group is aware of a circulating document drafted by Republic of Pwani .

"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.

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