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CORD blameless over Mpeketoni killings – Raila

Relatives and friends gather at a police station in the town of Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014/AFP

Relatives and friends gather at a police station in the town of Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014/AFP

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – CORD leader Raila Odinga has stated that his political activities are not to blame for the Mpeketoni attack and indicated that he has no plans to destabilise the government.

The former Prime Minister explained that his rallies across Kenya are only aimed at pushing for national dialogue to address the challenges facing the country.

“When did we ever say that we wanted to overthrow the government? By calling for dialogue, that does not mean that we want to overthrow the government…we have only said let us sit down and reason together as Kenyans and instead of the government responding to a genuine call, they are coming up with all sorts of excuses,” he stated.

Speaking in Kwale while condemning the Mpeketoni attack, he demanded proper investigations to be undertaken and cautioned the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku against politicising the country’s security.

“They are saying that we want to overthrow the government, and all that kind of nonsense. We want to sit down and dialogue with the government and find solutions to what is affecting our people,” he said.

Lenku had said that the government does not rule out a political link in the attack.

READ Jubilee, CORD trade barbs over Mpeketoni attack

Lenku stated that even as security forces continue investigating the cause of the attack and hunt down the perpetrators, they would pursue a possible political motive in the latest killings.

The Interior Secretary said that once investigations are complete, action will be taken against the perpetrators “and those inciting violence.”

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While making reference to his recent warnings to CORD politicians who have been holding rallies across the country, Lenku said the red line had been crossed but did not elaborate.

The Al Shabaab terror network has already claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it is a retaliation of the continued stay by Kenya’s military in Somalia.

READ Somalia’s Shabaab claim Kenya attack

The attack occurred when eight gunmen hijacked two vans at Witu and commandeered the driver to Mpeketoni where they opened fire indiscriminately at anyone they came across.

It is believed they were joined by their accomplices who were already in the town because witnesses said they saw more than 50 attackers.

Areas affected were Mpeketoni Police station, two hotels, a bank and a fuel station-with some facilities burnt down.

A police officer quoting witnesses said some of the gunmen were speaking in Somali as they moved from shop to shop and house to house shooting people.

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