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Muslims blame Lamu attacks on land

10 July 2014, 11:31 John Kioko

Kwale - Kenya Muslim National Advisory Council secretary general, Hamisi Mwachirumu has dismissed claims that Lamu attacks that have claimed lives of over 70 lives were carried out by either Al Shabaab or the Mombasa Republican Council group.

Mwachirumu also dismissed political involvement in the attacks saying that top leadership led by President Uhuru Kenyatta should involve the indigenous people in solving the historical injustices of land in coastal region.

The cleric said that after looking closely at the issue, they realised there is more than meets the eye.

“Something very clear about the attacks is that those attacking might be working closely with Al Shabaab to confuse the government so we have to do something,” he told reporters in Kwale.

Mwachirumu advised the national government to initiate a dialogue between the opposition, religious leaders and other stakeholders to end the land disputes in the region as they might be fueling the violence that has been experienced in Lamu.

He said that the assurance of security to locals as innocent lives are being lost is not fair, noting that something needs to be done urgently to end the bloodshed.

“We cannot sit and watch people being murdered while our security agents accuse Al Shabaab and MRC which might only have been used as scapegoat. The truth is that all Lamu attacks might be fueled by land rows and someone is using the two groups to hide their identity,” said Mwachirumu.

The clergy said that president Uhuru Kenyatta should not be rigid when it comes to the issue of dialogue to find a permanent solution to security problems in the country.

“As religious leaders, we are disturbed by the national government’s failure to hold a dialogue. It is not fair for our leaders to be rigid in making decisions as innocent lives are being lost,” he added.

Mwachirumu noted that Coast residents had faith in National Land Commission led by Dr. Muhammed Swazuri, but the challenges he is facing at the ministry disturbed them.

He said Coast people are not happy since they feel Swazuri will not be able to solve land problems which they have been facing since independence after Land CS, Charity Ngilu, started fighting him.

“Coast people must be directly involved in finding solution to Lamu problems especially the locals who feel they have been sidelined on the issue of land. Let the government sit down with them and discuss the issue,” he advised.

“We have to look for a permanent solution for this issue because we don’t know what the assailants might be planning. They seem to have a backing from the militants because the firearms they are using according to victims are sophisticated,” noted the cleric.

His sentiments come as the police claim have arrested 45 suspects of the Lamu attacks, including a local land owner.

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