Prime Minister Raila Odinga says the government will only negotiate with outlawed Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) only if it renounces illegal acts it may be involved in.
While issuing a statement on the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) in parliament on Wednesday afternoon, Raila also told the legislators that the government will not tolerate any group or organization that seeks to divide the country.
Raila said though MRC describes itself as a social movement and not a political party, it has embraced some campaign slogans and tactics that compromise its professed character.
The PM further told the house that the government is concerned that MRC's genuine grievances may be hijacked by external forces such as Al Shabaab.
"The slogan "Pwani Si Kenya" connotes agitation for secession which is a direct violation of Articles 3 and 5 of our Constitution on our territorial integrity" He told the house.
He added" The targeting of so-called "Watu Wa Bara" or Up Country People through hostile pamphlets and speeches also undermine our national cohesion".
The PM said the grievances being articulated by the MRC can only be addressed within an atmosphere of peace and stability saying that the Government plans to host a Coastal Consultative Forum in June to address the some of the issues.
"To prepare for the Forum, a Task Force, under the coordination of my office, is to be established shortly to undertake the necessary grassroot consultations and develop position papers on the various areas of concern" the Premier said
A section of MPs also raised similar concerns and called on the government to be vigilant saying some activities by the movement such as burning of voters cards should not be tolerated.
They also sought to know the measures the government was putting in place to deal with such groups that were a threat to the country's security.
MRC while calling for secession of the coastal region argues that indigenous populations in Coast have been left landless since independence and the government was doing little to address the problem.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Govt sets conditions for talks with MRC
Posted by ME at 5:14 AM