Somalia boundary wall works praised by MPs

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Parliament’s Defence committee has said construction of the Somalia border wall is going well.

The committee yesterday commended the Kenya Defense Forces work, as MPs toured Mandera to check on the progress of the wall. It includes walls, fences, other barriers and high-tech devices.

Committee chairman Katoo Ole Metito said they were collecting views from residents on whether to withdraw the KDF from Somalia.

Mandera East MP Omar Sala had petitioned Parliament, saying residents wanted KDF withdrawn from Somalia due to many terror attacks.

Al Shabaab militans say in person and on their websites that they will attack Kenya until KDF is withdrawn from Somalia.

The Defence committee is also hearing views from residents on proposed compenstion for families of victims who die from terror attacks.

Resident Suleiman Adan said security has improved since the wall was constructed.

“There have been no attacks for the past year unlike in the past when al Shabaab attacked up to 10 times a week,” he said. Deputy Governor Mohamed Arai agreed.

Defense PS Saitoti Torome said the delegation will take residents’ concerns to the Cabinet for consideration.

He said Kenya’s proximity to Somalia was leaving it vulnerable to al Shabaab attacks.
KDF engineers said 12 kilometres of the wall have been built in the past year and expressed confidence the work will be fast-tracked.

They the barbed wire fencing is fitted with heavy wire mesh and concrete poles. A three-metre trench has been dug and a patrol road has been built.

Two kilometres of the barrier have not been built near Bula Hawa in Somalia due to encroachment by Somalia nationals.

County commissioner Kutswa Olaka said the ministries of foreign affairs of Kenya and Somalia were consulting about illegal structures built along the common border.

Others attending the Defence MPs’ forum included Mavoko MP Patrick Makau, Tharaka Nithi woman representative Beatrice Nkatha, Nelson Koech (Belgut),  Dido Raso (Sako )and Maj Aden Bashir (Mandera North).

 

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