Somalia closes its border with Kenya over encroachment allegations
The authorities of Balad-Hawo have closed the town’s borderline with Kenya’s Mandera town following encroachment allegations against the government of Kenya.
In recent days hundreds of people in the town have been protesting against Kenya’s decision to construct over 700km security wall along its porous border with Somalia.
Speaking to the media on Monday, Yussuf Osman, Balad-Hawo district commissioner accused the authorities in Mandera town lack of collaborations.
“We decided to close our border with Somalia after the authorities in Mandera failed to address the border issues. They deployed construction workers who don’t know the borderline well. We tried to convinced them but they turned down our proposals,” said Osamn,
The security forces in the town have launched operations to confiscate the goods smuggled from Mandera town.
Ali Hassan Deer, the town’s head of security forces said the forces on Monday burnt over 25 bags of khat during in an operation near the border.
“The security forces in collaboration with elders and local residents confiscated bags of khat imported from Mandera town. We torched all the bags at town’s centre,” said Deer.
Local leaders in Mandera have called on the government of Kenya to open the border and statrt negotiation with their counterpart leaders in Balad-Hawo town.
Farah Adow Abdinur, Deputy Speaker of Mandera Assembly who spoke to Hiiraan Online said the local are carrying out initiatives to ease the situation.
“ The local leaders are planning to meet with county commissioner, Frederick Sishia on the border issues, the closure of the border has seriously affected the business and people of Mandera who largely depend on goods from the other side of the border (Bula-Hawa town),” said Abdinur.
Asked about the encroachment allegations, Abdinur dismissed the reports saying the government dispatched land survey officials to the border before the construction of the wall begun.
“These are false allegation, there is no way the government spends its money over another country’s land. The constructors are building the wall along the border,” he refuted.
Since last September when Kenya resumed the reconstruction of the security wall, the residents of Balad-Hawa have been complaining about the wall allegedly built inside Somalia.
Somalia government which dispatched delegation to the border town for assessment has not yet released the outcome of the assessment.