A series of violent attacks on the Kenyan coast blamed on a separatist movement called the Mombasa Republican Council highlights a growing feeling on Kenya's sandy shores that the country's rulers have long neglected the region and taken its resources as their own. The tensions could mean more violence, especially as the country's March elections approach.

A separatist leader in Mombasa says the group will not allow the coast to take part in general elections if their succession demands are not met.

After Kenya's 2007 elections, violence in most parts of the country killed more than 1,000 people and displaced at least 600,000 others after a dispute over who won the presidential vote. The chaos greatly damaged the economy and destroyed Kenya's image as a stable democracy.