Kenyan Muslims refute Al Shabab link

January 17, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17- The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) has refuted claims that the Al-Shabaab militia group infiltrated the deadly Muslim riots in Nairobi on Friday.

Secretary General Adan Wachu said the protests were organised by Kenyan Muslims who wanted to express their grievances against the \\\\\\\’mishandling\\\\\\\’ of Jamaican cleric Abdullah Al-Faisal.

"We are clearly stating that we have no information that Al Shabaab organised or were involved in the demos," he said adding that they do not support any terror groups.

At least five people were killed Friday when police fired live rounds and teargas to suppress a protest by Muslims demanding the release of the radical Jamaican cleric.

On Saturday, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said people waving flags belonging to the terror group had taken advantage of the situation to cause mayhem. He said the meeting was outlawed as they had intelligence reports indicating that Al Shabaab sympathizers were planning to hijack it.

Flanked by several Muslim MPs, Mr Wachu however called on those with information that the militia were involved in the protests to present them to the authorities.

"We don\\\\\\\’t have any evidence," he maintained while denying that none of the protestors were armed.

He said that a police inspection of the Jamia Mosque yielded no arms.

"If you have any evidence that those who took part in the demonstration were armed, then the best I could advise you to do is to hand over that information to the police," Mr Wachu said.

During the meeting, the leaders demanded the setting up of an independent commission of inquiry to look into the deaths and the destruction of the property most of which they said were \\\\\\\’Muslim-owned\\\\\\\’

"We demand compensation for all the damage and a public apology from the security authorities for their biased actions," he added.

At the same time, officials of the Kenyans for Justice and Development led by their Convener Okoiti Omtata condemned the riots saying both the police and protesters violated the law.

"The police remain law enforcers, so when they intervene in any situation, the protestor is duty bound to surrender to the legitimate authorities. When you throw a stone against a policeman you are stoning the state; when tear gas is thrown, you are wasting our resources," the activist said.

Mr Omtata also denounced attempts to portray the violence as a religious conflict pitting the Muslim community against their Christian counterparts.

While pointing out that street demonstrations were as a result of the failure to have strong institutions that address various issues including conflicts, Mr Omtata proposed that the government works out on modalities to ensure peaceful protests.
"It is now extremely urgent that all stakeholders meet to ensure that Kenyans enjoy their inalienable democratic right to protest against government policies and actions," he stated.



Latest Articles

Most Viewed