Building of wall along Somalia-Kenya border to deter Al-Shabaab set to start

An aerial view of Mandera Town. Mandera County Commissioner Alex ole Nkoyo (inset) said the construction of a wall along the Kenya-Somalia border is expected to start on March 25, 2015. PHOTO | MANASEH OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Mr Nkoyo said criminals have been committing crime in Mandera town and escape to Bula Hawa.
  • The first 20 kilometres will be done starting at the border point then others phases will follow.

Mandera County Commissioner Alex ole Nkoyo has said the construction of a wall along the Kenya-Somalia border to curtail the movement of terrorists is expected to start Wednesday.

Speaking to the Nation, Mr Nkoyo said the construction was part of the government’s strategy to monitor movement and contain attacks by Al-Shabaab militants from Somalia.

“The government is building the wall mainly as a security precautionary measure being put in place to ward off further encroachment on our territorial land by terrorists from Somalia. This is because Bula Hawa Town in Somalia has been used as an exit and entry point by the terrorists to get in and out of Mandera,” he said.

The county commissioner said there was “serious” encroachment on Kenya’s territory near the Mandera border.

“On the Somalia side, people have even built on the no man’s land, which is not supposed to be interfered with by either countries. This has caused a lot of security challenges here as it makes it easy for criminals to carry out their acts and run through the porous border to Bula Hawa to hide,” he explained.

“Walling is basically putting a barrier along the borderline so that demarcation of the national boundary is very clear,” said Mr Nkoyo.

ESCAPE

He, however, did not disclose how much the government will spend on the project.

“We are waiting for the designers to arrive before we know how much it will cost and its height,” he added.

Mr Nkoyo said criminals have been committing crime in Mandera Town and escaping to Bula Hawa.

Mandera and Bula Hawa are about two kilometres apart.

“The government’s mission is to establish clearly designated entry and exit points along the border and the Cabinet secretary for Interior made it clear that we start with the most porous areas. Screening shall be thoroughly done at the checkpoints” said Mr Nkoyo.

While addressing a public rally on Monday, Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow welcomed the idea and appealed to the locals to cooperate with the government in securing the county.

“We welcome the idea of building a wall between these two towns because it will control militants,” said Mr Kerrow.

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