The leader of an outlawed secessionist group on Kenya’s coast was Tuesday charged with holding an illegal meeting that police said was aimed at organising attacks in the troubled region.
Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) chairman Omar Mwamnuadzi was arrested on Monday evening and appeared in court on Tuesday, a week after being released on bail following a previous arrest in October.
He appeared in court along with six other supporters, who were also arrested in Kwale, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the main port city of Mombasa.
Mwamnuadzi was also charged with possession of cannabis, officials said, but was freed on bail of 500,000 shillings ($5,500).
The banned MRC insists it is a political movement campaigning for the independence of Kenya’s Muslim-majority Indian Ocean coast.
It has repeatedly denied any involvement in a string of attacks blamed on Islamist gunmen in the region, once one of Kenya’s most popular tourist destinations.
The government has blamed the MRC of involvement in a series of attacks in the Lamu region in June and July, in which scores were killed.
Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in retaliation for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia.