Kenya has announced a delay in its plans to reopen its border with Somalia following a recent spate of terror attacks by Al-Shabaab militants in border counties.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki stated that the decision was made to allow security agencies to address the emerging challenge before the plan is implemented.
“In the past one month, we have noted and experienced disruption of peace and security, and we have stopped that plan for a period to allow us to deal with the militants,” Kindiki said while speaking at the Dadaab refugee camp.
Kenya and Somalia had planned to reopen border points in Mandera, Liboi, Kiunga, and other areas along the border. However, in June alone, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Lamu counties recorded more than fifteen terror attacks, leaving more than twenty people dead, most of them being security officers.
The reopening of the border was to effectively end a 12-year barricade that began in 2011 when Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi to fight the incursion of Al-Shabaab fighters into the country. In May, Kenya announced plans to reopen its border posts with Somalia in Mandera, Lamu, and Garissa within 90 days after a high-level consultative meeting between Kenya’s Interior Minister and his Somali counterpart.
The delay in reopening the border is a precautionary measure to ensure the safety and security of Kenyan citizens and is indicative of the government’s commitment to address the increased threat posed by Al-Shabaab militants.