A Kenyan official on Monday announced that construction of a perimeter wall separating Mandera and Beled Hawo and Kenya will be extended from 10 28km.
Mohamud Saleh, the Northeastern Regional Commissioner said that the wall will thwart cross-border attacks from Al-Shabaab militants.
“Those terrorists used to attack and run to Somalia but since the wall was erected, the incidents are now almost zero in Mandera Town,” he said while inspecting the ongoing construction of the wall.
Saleh said that Al-Shabaab uses the open border to carry out attacks on security vehicles, plant landmines and destroy communication masts before retreating back over the border into Somalia.
“We like good neighborliness but we would not allow our people to be terrorized by anybody. We have to defend our territory, our people as a government,” Saleh said.
Saleh mad these comments while inspecting the construction of the wall.
“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 Kenyan government intends fast-track the construction of 700km border, which they began in April 2015.
Kenyan officials have long maintained that the purpose of the wall is to demarcate the Kenya-Somalia border and to create a permanent security buffer from Al-Shabaab militants.
However, residents of Beled Hawo, on the Somali side protested the construction of the wall along Kenya, accusing the Kenyan government of encroaching into Somali territory.