Kenya-Somalia boarder ‘wall’ turns out to be barbed wire fence

IG Joseph Boinnet inspecting the Kenya Somali boarder 'wall'. /COURTESY
Following many attacks from al Shabaab, the government resolved to build a 440-mile wall along Kenya’s border with Somalia.
The intention was to keep out rebels and boost security to curb the loss of lives witnesses from terror attacks.

The wall was expected to stretch from Border Point One in Mandera to Kiunga in Lamu county.

In March 2015, Somalia distanced itself from plans by Kenya to construct a barrier wall between the two countries said it was not consulted in the planned erection of the wall.

The government had not estimated the cost, but one unofficial estimate places the cost at Sh20 billion, another at Sh203 million a kilometre.
Defending the plans, President Uhuru Kenyatta had said, “There is nothing wrong with Kenya and Somalia establishing a common border entry point. This will help check on people who want to engage in activities which threaten peace in the two countries.”

But pictures being shared on social media show that the wall is not what the public expected.

Instead, there is a fence and some trenches dug around it, which raises questions on whether is this the wall the government had been talking about?

The wall was to have a series of concrete barriers, fences, ditches and observation posts overlooked by CCTV stations.

It was also expected to stretch from the Indian Ocean to Mandera county where both countries converge with Ethiopia.

Construction had begun at Kiunga in Lamu county, where al Shabaab militants are believed to hide out along with smugglers in uninhabited islands off the Indian Ocean coast.

But the workers who were hired by the government downed their tools over unpaid salaries. The workers said they were promised Sh126,000 each when the project started in March.


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