The construction of the controversial security wall along the Kenya-Somalia border is on course according to North Eastern regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh.
Speaking in Mandera town when he inspected the completed eight kilometers section of the wall that starts at the border point in Mandera, Saleh maintained it is meant to secure the town that has borne the brunt of terrorist attacks by the Al-Shabaab terror group operating from Somalia.
Saleh said an additional 28 kilometers has been surveyed and construction will resume soon.
He said the initial concrete security wall was redesigned because of the huge financial implication and that the works will be carried out in phases all the way to Kiunga in Lamu County.
“It’s a slow process but Kenya will continue to secure its borders with Somalia,” Saleh said.
He added that Kenya has no problem with Somalia citizens crossing over to the country for business but “this must be carried out in a structured manner.”
“We like good neighbourliness but we would not allow our people to be terrorised by anybody. We have to defend our territory, our people as a government,” Saleh said.
“The era the Somali citizens used to walk in and out is no longer there. Anybody coming into Kenya must use a passport or other legal documents,” he said.
He commended the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) for their work.
“I am satisfied as the chairman of the North Eastern security and intelligence team with the works of the Kenya Defense Forces who are undertaking the project. They have done a good job,” Saleh noted.
“I want to assure Kenyans that the government is focused on the project. We have no problems with the people of Somalia. They are our neighbours who have had serious security challenges for the past 26 years,” he added.
The wall, estimated to be over 400KM when completed, will have designated immigration and custom entry points with a 2 feet tall concrete wall fitted with CCTV cameras.
The idea was mooted in March 2015 following heightened Al-Shabaab attacks in Mandera, Garissa and Wajir counties consists of two parallel concrete fences of heavy mesh and razor wires running in between them.
A 3-meter deep trench on the Kenyan side also runs along the fence and next to it is a road to be used by security personnel to patrol the border.