Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) have made a major move that will now see the porous Kenya-Somali border sealed completely with a security buffer zone.
Even though the creation of the buffer zone has been sluggishness and faced multiple resistance the plan is slowly taking shape.
The plan includes creation of at least 17 border posts on the 700-kilometre-long border with well-equipped personnel to respond to any form of aggression.
By the time of publishing this article, The Kenyan forces have dug a trench and constructed a 20-kilometre long fence in Mandera. The fence has helped reduce incidents of attacks by the militants who cross the border at will.
Officials aware of the plan say the security agencies are getting much-needed boost from various development partners including the British and US governments.
The British government recently donated seven fully-equipped containers to be used as police posts. The containers are fireproof and are equipped with an armoury that may take upto 10 hours to break in.
Last month, the US government donated 39 four-wheel drive cars to be used by the Administration Police’s Border Patrol Unit.
Further, a team of about 200 special forces has been created to respond to any need within the border area.
This follows the directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to station two planes at Wajir military base for response to any form of attack.
“Wajir is now an operation zone for responding to any attack by the criminals. It is well equipped with choppers and other rescue planes to help troops in the frontline,” said an official.
These plans are being implemented in anticipation of a plan by the Amisom troops to withdraw from Somalia.
To weaken Al Shabaab’s presence, Somali forces work alongside troops from the African Union peacekeeping operations, which include forces from Kenya, Djibouti, Burundi, Uganda and Ethiopia. Kenya, in particular, has been a frequent target of Al-Shabaab retaliatory attacks.
Apparently, 30 per cent of the country’s security problems are traced to the porous Somalia border often penetrated by terrorists to attack Kenyan towns as indicated in a research by government security agencies.
The security buffer zone is also set to benefit from drone surveillance and military drone attacks from the United States after they were authorized to carry out operations in Kenya.
The Chinese administration denied our request for response if their military expertise will also be part of the security buffer zone operations along Kenya Somalia border.