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Why Muslims want Kenya-Somalia border reopened

Saturday May 11, 2019
By Charles Ronald

State urged to reopen border with Somalia. Source/hiiraan.com

Muslims in Mandera County have asked the Government to reopen the Kenya-Somalia border point to ensure the free flow of goods and services.

Led by Hamisi Jillo, the Muslims said the price of food products have risen after the government closed the border point in 2009.

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According to KNA, Jillo said most of the food products come from Nairobi which is over 1,000 kilometres.

He said residents in Mandera County are forced to dig deeper into their pockets as prices of common food products soar due to the distance covered in transporting them.

Speaking to the press, Jillo said reopening the border will help reduce the prices of products in Mandera since it's close to Somalia.

“The government should consider reopening the Kenya-Somalia border in order to reduce the cost of foodstuff. Goods from Somalia are cheaper compared to those from Nairobi which is over 1000 kilometres away,” said Jillo.

Mandera County Commissioner Olaka Kutswa, however, said the border point will remain closed because goods of questionable standards are being smuggled into the country.

Kutswa further said that Mandera and other counties in the Northern region used to suffer regular attacks but all that is now in the past after the border was closed.

“Security in Mandera has improved and terrorists have stopped crossing into the country. Closing of the border has also prevented contraband goods from being sneaked into the country,” added Kutswa.

Over the weekend, Al-Shabaab militants raided a food store in Mandera town and made away with food and a gun with ammunition belonging to one of the Kenya Police Reserve (KPR) officer who was injured following an exchange of fire between the militants and local security agents.

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