Kenya PM blames riots on nation's foes

2012-08-29 13:55
Kenyan paramilitary police walk past burning tyres in Mombasa during a second day of clashes after the killing of an extremist cleric linked to al-Qaeda-allied Shebaab militants. (AFP)

Kenyan paramilitary police walk past burning tyres in Mombasa during a second day of clashes after the killing of an extremist cleric linked to al-Qaeda-allied Shebaab militants. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mombasa - Kenya's prime minister said on Wednesday the country's enemies were behind the killing of a Muslim cleric that triggered riots he described as being conducted by an "underground organisation" to create divisions between Christians and Muslims.

Aboud Rogo, accused by the United States of helping al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militants in Somalia, was facing charges in a Kenyan court of possessing weapons when he was shot in his car by unknown attackers in Mombasa on Monday.

His death unleashed two days of riots in which five people, including three police officers, were killed.

A measure of calm has returned to Kenya's second-biggest city, a tourist hub and major Indian Ocean port, as anti-riot police armed with wooden batons, teargas and automatic rifles patrolled its busy streets.

Enemies


"We suspect the hand of the enemies of our country in this, those who want to create religious animosity," Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters after addressing religious leaders in the city.

"It is an attempt to try create a division between Christians and Muslims in our country so that it appears it is a religious war."

He said Kenya had many enemies, including abroad, after it sent troops into neighbouring Somalia last October to fight Islamist militants.

Asked whether the violent reaction in the streets of Mombasa, which has a big Muslim minority, was organised or just a spontaneous outpouring of anger the prime minister said: "Certainly, that is what it looks like."

"Why deliberately attack churches? That must be part of an organised [reaction]. Where did the grenades come from? It confirms our suspicions that there is a serious underground organisation conducting this," he said.

Rioters set fire to at least six churches, stoking fears that the unrest may become more sectarian in a city where grenade attacks blamed on Somali militants and their sympathisers have already strained Muslim-Christian relations.

Churches burnt

The National Council of Churches of Kenya, said in a statement it had followed with "growing trepidation" the increasing attacks on Christians and churches.

"The violence appears well planed, pre-meditated, and systematic. In the last five months alone, 11 churches have been attacked while attempts were made on others," the group's general-secretary, Peter Karanja, said.

"Christians have been killed, injured or maimed for life. We see this as an intentional provocation of Christians to retaliate."

On Tuesday, mobs of youths fired machineguns at police in Kisauni, a predominantly Muslim area, just before throwing a grenade into a police truck, police said. Two Kenyan police officers and a civilian were killed instantly.

Killings, arrests

One more police officer died on Wednesday of wounds inflicted in the grenade blast. One person was killed when the riots broke out on Monday.

Some 24 people arrested during the riots were charged in a Mombasa court On Wednesday for assembling illegally and they were remanded in custody for five days.

Police said they were likely to add more charges of arson and destruction of property.

Residents, however, accused the police of being heavy-handed, especially in Majengo, another neighbourhood with a large Muslim population that had been one of the flashpoints of violence. Locals were ordered by police to stay in their houses.

"It is getting better, but police should stop intimidating people. I closed my shop the whole of yesterday. Today am open but still very careful. I hear any noise I close immediately," said Margaret Mumo, owner of a chemist shop at Sabasaba, near Majengo.

Read more on:    kenya  |  east africa  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.