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Kenya, Ethiopia seek to curb human trafficking, boost trade

16 March 2016, 17:35

Mandera (Xinhua) -- Kenyan and Ethiopian leaders have kicked off talks aimed at curbing increasing human trafficking as well as boosting trade between the two countries.

Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said Tuesday that leaders from the Mandera County and their counterparts in Dolo region of Ethiopia have discussed on issues touching on mutual cooperation.

Also read: Organisation "Save The Elephants" battles ivory poaching in Kenya.

Cases of human smuggling have been on the rise in the region, with hundreds of young men from Ethiopia finding their way into South Africa through Kenya in search of employment.

"In the discussion, the leaders agreed to curb human trafficking via the porous border," Shisia told journalists in Mandera town.

In the past months, police in Kenya have rescued hundreds of Ethiopians being trafficked through Kenya, most of whom were found living under deplorable conditions.

The authorities have blamed the vastness of the region for the runaway influx of foreigners, especially Ethiopians who cross into Kenya through Moyale on Kenya-Ethiopia borders.

On trade, Shisia said the Kenyan government was losing revenue in non-customized goods being sold to the country from Dolo region and wanted to find ways of sealing such loopholes along the border.

"We are pushing the Ethiopian government to operationalize the deal, and deploy bureau of standards and revenue officers so as to start the project," Shisia noted.

During the meetings, Shisia revealed that the Ethiopian officials were also asked to do more in protecting Kenyans from terrorist strikes.

Ethiopian soldiers working under African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are based in Gedo region of Somalia neighboring Mandera.

The Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group found it hard to commit crime in Ethiopia, and no single terror incident has ever been reported in Suftu border town in Ethiopia as Mandera residents continue to bore the brunt of terrorist strikes.

The meetings provided opportunity for Mandera security chiefs who wanted to learn lessons from Ethiopia on security arrangements that have shielded the country from Al-Shabaab attacks.

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- Xinhua


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