Security Heightened At Somalia-Kenya Border As authorities arrest Al-Shabaab suspects

Police in Wajir and Garissa counties have apprehended six people suspected to be members of Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants at the Kenya-Somalia border.

According to a police statement issued on Sunday, the six were apprehended separately while attempting to flee into Kenya after encountering a hostile environment in the al-Shabaab training camps.

According to police, the terror group recruits members from Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia by promising them relatively high pay, but they change their minds once they arrive at the training camps, causing them to flee into Kenya.

Tanzanian banker Yusuf, 38, was arrested in November in Liboi, Garissa County, while three of his colleagues escaped.

Other five Ethiopian nationals were apprehended at the border, citing a hostile environment as the reason for their escape.

Nur Osman Chawo, Suleiman Kadu Shale, Mohamed Abdulkadir Jibich, Ridwan Haji Abdulbasir, and Anwar Jamal Hajiwadow told police they were recruited and taken to Somalia for training before being enlisted to fight in various parts of Somalia.

Police officers are now using the information obtained from the five to improve border patrols, particularly along the routes and areas that militants fleeing Somalia are likely to use to enter the country.

North Eastern Regional Commissioner Nicodemus Ndalana stated that the government is keeping a close eye on the situation in Somalia and that more security personnel have been deployed to the border.

He also stated that over 50 youths are believed to have escaped from the terror group’s hostile training camps into the country, and a crackdown has been launched to apprehend the suspects.

Meanwhile, a manhunt for the three who escaped during Yusuf’s arrest is ongoing, as police urge the public to volunteer any information that could lead to their arrest.

Al-Shabab is facing mounting pressure from allied government militia who are supporting the Somali government in degrading the group.

This year the militants have attacked various posts and security installations of both Ethiopian and Kenyan Government.

The two countries contribute troops to the Africa Union Transition Mission In Somalia as peacekeepers helping the central government of Somalia to get control of the entire country. 

At least 2,000 troops were to depart Somalia starting next month, allowing troop contributors Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda and Burundi to totally exit by December next year.

But the AU Council said it was acting in “solidarity with the people and the Government of Somalia in their aspirations for durable peace, security, stability, and prosperity, for the benefit of the region and the Continent as a whole.”

The PSC said the original total exit dates will remain unchanged, however.

The slight revision of the draw-down means a new programme will be published by the end of February 2023.

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