Kenya to strengthen border security amid crossover attacks
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Kenya will strengthen its security along the common border with Ethiopia and Somalia, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku told journalists in Nairobi that the porous nature of the border poses a major security challenge.
“The borders with the neighboring states of Somalia and Ethiopia have become conduit for the proliferation of small arms for use by terrorists, poachers and other criminals,” Lenku said during a ceremony where he received vehicles and communication equipment to be used to enhance Kenya’s border security from the British government.
He said that Kenya will continue collaboration with the European nation in areas which the two countries share common interest.
The cabinet secretary noted that the government will also use technology to monitor those who enter the country.
“We want to ensure that Kenya remains a secure destination for both domestic and foreign investors,” he said. According to Lenku, all those arrested will face the full force of the law.
He also decried the consumption of illicit brew especially by the youth. “These drinks have a negative socio economic impact on the wellbeing of society,” Lenku said.
“We have therefore launched a campaign that will target all those selling the liquor with a view of removing them from the market,” he said.
The cabinet secretary said the government will seek international partnerships in order to curb the poaching menace.
“We consider it a form of economic sabotage as wildlife resources are one of the main stays of the economy,” he said.
British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner said that the donation of equipment amounting to 600,000 Sterling pounds will boosts Kenya’s security.
“It will significantly enhance the ability to patrol and monitor the challenging terrain along Kenya’s borders especially in light of recent insecurity incidences,” Turner said.
According to the envoy, both nations have a shared interest in countering security threats.
“So, the British government will support Kenya’s vision of a fully-equipped and resourced police service in order to provide security for all the people,” he said.
Turner added that the procedures of Kenya’s Administration Police was originally based upon those of the British Army, though they have been adapted towards Kenya’s unique context.
He noted that his government has a strong commitment to combating terrorism including through support to foreign countries. The British envoy said that both governments have an ongoing program of training and equipment support for Kenya’s the Rural Border Police Unit.
“This will assist Kenya to deal with the threat posed by illegal crossings of the countries’ porous borders,” he said. He noted that Kenya’s focus on building a much stronger internal police accountability mechanism offers an opportunity for a new era in policing.
The East African nation is grappling with insecurity problems especially in the northern region which borders both Somalia and Ethiopia where Al-Shabaab have launched a series of grenade and bomb attacks on the locals.
Apart from the northern region, Mombasa, the country’s second largest city and a major tourist spot is one of various cities targeted by a series of grenade attacks and abduction of foreigners in recent months.
Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo said that the assistance comes at a time when the country is reviewing its strategies to counter the threat of terrorist attacks.
“These criminal incidences are being perpetrated by criminals groups and have resulted in loss of lives and property of citizens, “ he said.
Kimaiyo added that there has been a notable increase in the number of violent incidences involving different communities living in Kenya. “These occurrences have negatively impacted on the country’ s peace and stability,” he said.
The head of police said that the government has committed an additional 46 million U.S. dollars in order to implement a new security agenda.
“The initiative will involve strengthening institutional capacity so as enhance, the profiling and screening of passengers arriving in the country,” Kimaiyo said.
He added that only concerted national, regional and international efforts will ensure a crime free society.
Deputy Inspector General Samuel Arachi said that British support to Kenya’s border security dates back to 2006.
“The framework aims at creating a specialized border patrol unit that will professionalize border management strategies,” he said.