Kenya agrees security pact with Somali border locals

Tuesday April 26 2016

Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Joseph

Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery during the joint conference of Marehan community and the Kenya Government at Orchid Hotel in Nairobi on April 24, 2016. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

ANGIRA ZADOCK
By ANGIRA ZADOCK
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The government has launched a multipronged approach to fighting terror that will involve working with Somalia’s Marehan community.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery on Sunday said the initiative was adopted owing to poor flow of information, especially intelligence, that has hindered Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) operations along the Kenya-Somalia border and in their areas.

For a long time, he said, the locals have also been resisting KDF operations based on clan rivalry between the Marehan and the Ogaden.

Mr Nkaissery also said that the construction of the border wall would continue but assured Somalis that it will be purely to check incursion of the Al-Shabaab terrorists and not to restrict the residents’ movements.

“There will be entry points where officials from both countries will be stationed to allow free movement,” the minister said.

He spoke at a three-day joint conference of the Marehan and the Kenyan government in Westlands that was attended by three former Somali prime ministers, as well as MPs and Cabinet ministers, businessmen and scholars.

Former Somali Prime Minister Said Abdi Shirdon told the meeting that the cooperation between the Somali community across the border and the Kenyan government was key in dealing with insecurity, especially terrorism, and also for development.

“The conference is aimed at building trust and confidence between Marehans and the Kenyan communities along our common border and foster peace, security and development,” he said.

The conference is expected to end Tuesday.