Interior PS Raymond Omollo Clarifies on Reopening of Kenya-Somalia Border

Ezra Manyibe | 2 months ago

Principal Secretary for Ministry of Interior, Raymond Omollo has reiterated that the government would not be reopening the Kenya-Somalia border any time soon, alluding to the need to keep all entry and exit points secured.

The border was closed in 2011 following the escalation of terror activities by Islamic extremist group, Al Shabaab that has been terrorizing the horn of Africa nation. An African Union peace keeping mission was established in the country, but is currently in the process of winding down.

PS Omollo's assurance comes months after Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Kithure Kindiki and his Somalia counterpart Mohammed Ahmed Sheikh Ali announced plans to reopen the border.

Somalia and Kenya share a vast border which the Interior PS conceded poses a significant challenge in fully securing it.

He further noted that the country's recent entry into the East African Community requires that they be allowed seamless trade activities within the region. This may complicate the government's efforts in fully ensuring security along the 800 KM border.

"Somalia is unique because it has faced a lot of challenges, especially terrorism, but when you look at the long border, it makes it very daunting. We had plans and still have plans to reopen specific border points with Somalia, we thought not now but we will do so even considering the security challenges that this move will bring," he said.

PS Omollo noted that with the withdrawal African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops from the country, Kenya anticipates more security challenges along the border.

He explained that the two countries share a very long and rough border and therefore may require significant financial and personnel investments to fully secure the border and make specific border points operational.

The PS added that the need to reopen land border points with Somalia will increase the volume of trade between the countries, adding to the already operational Nairobi-Mogadishu daily flights.

In an interview with a local tabloid, Omollo stated that a meeting between security stakeholders at the National Border Management Conference held at Bomas of Kenya beginning Tuesday, April 2, 2024, is set to address various issues including the efforts by security organs along the border, the efficiency of operations at the border among others.

"We are meeting to review what is happening globally in terms of border control and to also emphasize the inter agency approach and coordination in border management. We will also discuss the challenges we face in this area," PS Omollo who is chairing the meeting, said.

Related Stories