State steps up Somalia border surveillance

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki (left) and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Ali during a presser on cross border engagement between the two countries on May 15,2023. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The government has enhanced surveillance along the border with Somalia to curtail infiltration of the outlawed Al-Shabaab terror group.

North Eastern Regional Commissioner John Otieno said security agencies have adopted community engagements and information sharing at the grassroots to stop the insurgents from seeking refuge in Kenya amid crushing pressure from the Somalia side.

“Patriotic elders have undertaken to work with us to defeat terrorism. They have invaluable tip-offs and crucial information on how to beat the enemy,” Mr Otieno said after meeting with local leaders and security teams in Wajir.

He said the teams are now working round the clock to raise quality of intelligence received from local leaders and civilians as part of collective efforts to forestall illegal activities across the borders.

Otieno said more engagements have been lined up with elected leaders as well as the clergy and peace committees to find long-term solutions to insecurity.

“North Eastern Kenya deserves equal access to national development as the other regions, and the government has many projects and programmes in the pipeline for our people here. But without public safety and security, all these initiatives will fall through,” he said.

During his tour of the region in February, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki urged leaders and residents to step up their individual and collective responsibility in fighting Al-Shabaab adherents, and urged them to share information with government.