Eastern regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh says construction of the security ‘wall’ along the border with war torn Somalia is on course.
Saleh said that ‘wall’ aims at securing Mandera town that has borne the brunt of terrorist attacks by the Al-Shabaab terror group operating from war torn Somalia.
Speaking in Mandera town when he inspected the 8 kms completed section of the ‘wall’, Saleh said an additional 28 kms of the land has already been surveyed and construction works will soon resume.
He said the initial concrete security wall was redesigned because of the huge financial implications and that the works will be carried out in phases all the way to Kiunga in Lamu County.
“It’s a slow process but Kenya will continue to secure its borders with Somalia,” Saleh said.
He added that Kenya has no problem with Somalia citizens crossing over to the country for business but ‘this must be carried out in a structured manner’.
“We like good neighborliness but we would not allow our people to be terrorized by anybody. We have to defend our territory, our people as a government,” Saleh said.
He said the era that Somali citizens used to walk in and out of the county are long gone anybody coming into Kenya must use a passport or other legal documents.
He commended the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) for a ‘good job’.
“I am satisfied as the chairman of the North Eastern security and intelligence team with the works the Kenya defense forces who are undertaking the project. They have done a good job,” Saleh noted.
“I want to assure Kenyans that the government is focused on the project. We have no problems with the people of Somalia. They are our neighbours who have had serious security challenges for the past 26 years,” he added.
The ‘wall’ estimated to be over 400 kms when completed will have designated immigration and custom entry point with a 2 feet tall concrete wall fitted with CCTV cameras.
The idea of the wall was mooted in March 2015 following heightened Al-Shabaab attacks in Mandera, Garissa and Wajir counties and it consists of two parallel concrete fences of heavy mesh wires and razor wires running in between them.
A 3 metre deep trench on the Kenyan side also runs along the fence and next to it is a road to be used by security personnel to patrol the border.