Kenya has suspended construction of the border wall with Somalia to pave way for bilateral talks between two countries.
The construction was halted amid tensions in Mandera Town and Bulahawa in Somalia over a dispute in which some 64 houses have been earmarked for demolition to pave way for border wall construction.
It is believed the houses encroached inside Kenyan territory and has caused tension fuelled by social media propaganda causing fear among locals.
The wall construction has been undertaken by a contractor under supervision of the Kenya Defence Forces and has progressed well cushioning Mandera Town from terror attacks.
The border Town has now remained calm for over two years without a single attack compared to some 209 attacks witnessed in 2013-2014.
Yesterday, Mandera Governor Ali Roba and his Gedo Region counterpart Mohamed Mohamud Aden held a joint presser along the border to assure residents that an amicable solution was being brokered between the two governments and no hostilities had been reported as claimed in a section of social media.
“There is no military occupation nor is there a single house that has been demolished by Kenyan troops. Treat that as propaganda by enemies of good relations that Mandera County and Gedo region enjoy.” Roba said.
“We are alarmed by snippets of misinformation in social that Kenyan military have raided the border and are demolishing houses. As you can see we are peaceful and we have suspended the construction of the border wall to allow for negotiations between the two countries,” Roba added.
“We appeal to our people to remains calm knowing very well we are interdependent on each other-a historical relationship that goes back ages before colonization,” Roba said.
On his part Gedo region Governor Mohammed urged the Somalia residents along the border to remain calm and wait for talks between President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo and Uhuru Kenyatta.
“On behalf Somalia government we support dialogue discussing foundations of border relations. We have agreed to suspend the wall construction until bilateral talks are concluded,” Aden said.
The two governors said they were looking to cordial relations with neighbours and confirmed the contractor had demobilized temporarily until the two countries reach a pact.
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