Article written

  • on 08.12.2014
  • at 12:37 PM
  • by evelina

Experts urge Kenya to secure border in Al Shabaab fight 0

Security experts are urging Kenya to close its border with Somalia and establish an all-arms forward combat base in the northern region to enhance the war against Al Shabaab and stop cross-border attacks.

This thinking advanced by Andrew Franklin, a former US marine now a security consultant in Kenya, comes in the wake of the twin Mandera attacks, where Al Shabaab militants killed more than 60 people before crossing back into Somalia.

Mr Franklin also said that the Kenya Defence Forces have failed to secure the border with Somalia because human resources have been committed to the Amisom forces.

“I would advise the Kenyan government to withdraw its troops from the Amisom ranks because as it is currently, we are having a lot of homeland security challenges and their continued operations within Amisom isn’t helping this situation,” Mr Franklin said.

Kenya Defence Forces moved into southern Somalia in October 2011 to pursue Al Shabaab after a series of kidnappings of tourists along the border. The troops from Kenya were later formally integrated into Amisom on February 22, 2012 after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2036.

Currently, there are 3,664 troops from Kenya after they pulled out a battalion when 850 Sierra Leonean troops arrived. Major General Francis Nthenge from Kenya is Amisom’s Deputy Force Commander Support and Sector 2 is commanded by Brigadier Walter Koipaton Raria.

Mr Franklin, however, admits that KDF withdrawal may not be feasible because KDF is now legally committed to Amisom and a unilateral withdrawal of these troops would violate the government’s commitment to international agreements.

KDF ground combat elements are currently under Sector 2 of Amisom in Kismayu while Al Shabaab seems to have changed tack and is using a brigade based closed to the Kenya-Somali border to launch attacks against Kenya citizens, vulnerable police posts and government facilities in Mandera, Garissa and Wajir.

Mr Franklin also said that another solution to the Mandera attacks could be to construct an all arms forwarding combat base for the KDF to withdraw into so as to be reconstituted into appropriate manoeuvre units capable of offensive action against Al Shabaab in Sector 2.

Continue reading on The East African

By Allan Olingo.

Photo Credit: Manase Otsialo | Nation Media Group.

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