ENCROACHED? The orange line shows the proposed security wall along the 700 kilometre Kenya-Somalia border. A Somalia National Army commander has claimed the route of the wall encroaches on Somalia territory. Photo/COURTESY/GOOGLE MAPS
Diplomatic row looms over claims Kenya security wall encroaches on Somali territory
The route of the 700-kilometre Kenya security wall, whose construction has began, allegedly lies within Somali territory.
“Kenya has taken advantage of the many years of Somalia’s lawlessness and encroached on our land,” said Yassin Hassan, a senior commander in the Somali National Army.
“More than two kilometres of Somalia is now illegally inhabited by Kenyans.”
Hassan spoke to the Star near Bulla Hawa town, near Mandera, along the Kenya-Somalia border.
Mandera county commissioner Alex Nkoyo denied the claim saying beacons erected during colonial times have never been moved.
“From Border Point One in Mandera all the way to Kiunga in Lamu, they are clearly demarcated. Such sticking points will be dealt with by the relevant authorities, such as surveyors,” he said.
The land includes a Kenya police post, Immigration office and Customs department.
The wall will demarcate the Kenya-Somalia border and prevent access by al Shabaab militants, said Immigration Services director Gordon Kihalangwa.
“We will ensure that our borders are secure by preventing illegal immigrants and proliferation of small arms into the country, “ Kihalangwa said.
He said the wall, which will run from the Mandera border, through Wajir, Garissa and Lamu, will not bar cross border movements, as there will be designated exit and entry points.
The wall will have a surveillance road to prevent infiltrators using undesignated areas from accessing the country.