EAC & The HornNews

Kenya reverses border decision as Amisom exits Somalia

Kenya has reversed its decision to re-open its borders with Somalia after a spate of terror attacks inspired by the return of vegetation providing cover on the end of drought and the opportunities presented to the terrorists on withdrawal of Africa Union (AU) troops.

Already, Somali forces have assumed security responsibilities in five of six sectors where AU troops have been deployed ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of 2,000 AU soldiers by the end of this month.

The withdrawal of troops coupled with returning vegetative cover following the end of a long drought has seen the terrorist group Al Shabab hold daring attacks on Kenyan soil numbering 15 in the counties of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Lamu, leaving more than 20 people dead, most of them security officers.

“In the past month, we have noted and experienced disruption of peace and security. We have stopped that plan (to re-open borders) for a period to allow us to deal with the militants,” Interior Cabinet secretary Kithure Kindiki said in Daadab refugee camp.

Kenya has protested the decision to withdraw African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops saying it will allow the Al Shabab back into the theatre.

President William Ruto said Kenya Defence Force troops in Somalia may stay there longer beyond the drawdown timetable along other frontline states of Uganda, and Sudan.

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Kenya is battling the resurgence of the terrorist groups activity although the fight has been complicated by the disbandment of the multi-agency team that had synergized anti-terrorism operations through free flow of actionable information and intelligence among security agencies and other organizations to mount sound and timely counter terrorism responses.

President Ruto sidelined the once powerful multi-agency team that comprised of officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Anti-Counterfeit Authority, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the National Intelligence and Government Chemist.

Prior to embracing the strategy in 2014, most security institutions and other agencies operated in silos, hampering effective counter terrorism efforts and operations.

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