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Britain: We will not listen to MRC

Saturday June 23 2012

By ANTHONY KITIMO [email protected]

The British government has no plans to hold any talks with the proscribed Mombasa Republican Council and will work closely with the Kenya Government  to maintain peace and order in the Coast region, a senior official said.

British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner said his government will not discuss anything the illegal group submitted to them regarding the agreement signed during colonisation.

Mr Turner said he will support peace initiatives not only at the Coast but in the whole country as the government prepares for the General Election.

“We cannot discuss anything with the MRC regarding secession, and they should know colonial times are long gone,” said the high commissioner.

Speaking at Tamarind Hotel in Mombasa during celebrations to mark Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth, Mr Turner said it is the duty of the Kenyan Government to decide how to deal with the matter.

“What I know is that there is a new Constitution which does not allow that (secession), but what I can say is that it is the duty of the Kenyan people to decide, not the UK government. I am here to encourage unity not division among Kenyans,” he said.

The announcement follows the sending of a petition by the MRC to the British government requesting a review of the agreement to allow the Coast to secede from Kenya.

The group has maintained that they will not allow any elections to be carried out in the region unless their grievances are addressed.

But the government has maintained that the group is illegal, and it would only listen to the grievances of its members if it drops some of its demands among them secession.

The high commissioner, who is barely two weeks in office, said he will work closely with Kenyan security agents and other relevant arms of government to ensure there is security at the Coast and other tourist attraction spots in the country.

“Kenya has remained a favourite tourist destination for the British, and especially at the South Coast, and we cannot sit back and watch people interfere with security.

“That is why I have promised the Kenyan Government my support in fighting illegal groups and terrorists,” he said.

He also challenged the government to address the unemployment problem among coastal youth which he said has contributed to insecurity.