Kenyan president says security wall along border with Somalia to deter terrorists
20 May 2016, 21:16
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Thursday the construction of the security wall along its border with Somalia to help deter terrorists from entering the country.
Kenyatta also clarified that the 440-mile wall along the Kenya-Somalia border is not aimed at deterring movements of people but to enhance security.
"There is nothing wrong with Kenya and Somalia establishing a common border entry point. This will help check on people who want to engage in activities which threaten peace in the two countries," he told local leaders in Mandera county.
The East African nation is building the security wall along its border with Somalia in a bid to keep out Al-Shabaab and boost security after a wave of attacks that have claimed scores of lives and provoked severe criticism of the government's response.
The wall, a series of concrete barriers, fences, ditches and observation posts overlooked by CCTV stations, is expected to stretch from the Indian Ocean to Mandera, where both countries converge with Ethiopia. Reports say the Somali authorities are concerned about the construction of the wall, saying Nairobi was encroaching on the Horn of African nation's territory.
Nairobi insists the wall is for security purpose meant to prevent increasing armed group Al-Shabaab attacks inside its soil but Somalia is opposed to the plan which it says will only catalyze Al-Shabaab gruesome attacks.
But President Kenyatta who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto said the government was committed to peace and stability of the country.
The Kenyan leader said there were no any plans to divide Kenyans and the people of Somalia.
"We have no any plans at all to divide the people of Somalia and the people of Kenya. We just want to ensure our people engage in internationally accepted standards of businesses, nothing else," Kenyatta said.
The president thanked the people of northern Kenya for working closely with security agents in containing terrorism among other criminal activities.
"It is because of this reason that I strongly commend leaders and residents for working with security agents in preaching peace," Kenyatta added.
He said it was through teamwork and unity among leaders that challenges facing the region could be solved.
"As leaders we should take a leading role in uniting our people besides preaching peace at all times. Development will be elusive if there is no peace," said Kenyatta.
Security agencies have intensified border patrols to deter infiltration of the militants into the country at a time of increased threats by the terrorists' network and homegrown terror cells after attacks in the northeast region.