One by one, countries beset on either side by migrant hordes or Islamic terrorists, are beginning to enforce their borders. Hungary has been one of the strongest countries thus far to erect and enforce a razor-wire fence in an effort to stem the flow of incoming migrants. Now, add Kenya to the list.
Rather than face a migrant problem, however, Kenya, a Christian-majority nation, has been plagued by terrorism from al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab, based in neighboring Somalia.
Kenya's new barrier, according to the report, consists of a concrete wall framed with barbed-wire electric fence, trenches, and fully-monitored observation posts. Defense News reports:
Kenya has confirmed it will begin construction of a 700-kilometer-long security wall along the northeastern border with Somalia as part of a broader national security plan to curb cross-border terror attacks by Somali terrorist group al-Shabab.
Addressing the media in Nairobi over the weekend, Kenya's Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said that contrary to assertions by the Somali government and some influential clans and communities on either side of the border, the fence would not limit or deter the movement of people between the two countries.
Instead, he said the fence would limit cross-border terrorist movements and enable the country to prevent attacks which have killed more than 400 people in the country since 2012.
According to the report, the Kenyan government finally landed the support of the Somali-based Maheran clan, an armed border community that had, to now, been opposed to the plan:
In January this year, at least 80 Kenyan soldiers died in the Maheran clan communal area in an attack Kenyan officials believe was carried out with the help of local clan militias.
“This wall will help us check on people like al-Shabab from crossing to and from Somalia. We will not limit movement of other people. There is a need for joint cooperation between both countries and our leaders in dealing with terrorism, which has affected us negatively,” Nkaissery said.
Kenya's new border security wall is a good first step. The report leaves out, however, a major problem facing the beleaguered country that a wall will not address -- and that is the fact that al Shabaab has been actively recruiting Kenyans to join its ranks. Thus far the terror outfit has been wildly successful and Kenyan recruits are said to be among the most fervent jihadis in the group. Al Shabaab has been recruiting Kenyans specifically because they can travel freely between the two countries unimpeded and operate freely within Kenya.