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Cross border insecurity worries Raila

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has promised to convene a meeting involving security agencies from various countries sharing borders and waters with Kenya early next year to address deteriorating security along the country’s borders.

Addressing a delegation of leaders, community elders and professionals from Turkana community who visited him with a raft of demands, the PM said insecurity which was once concentrated along Kenya’s Northern borders had spread all round the country and needed to be addressed.

He said areas of concern include the Kenya-Tanzania border as well as the country’s borders with Sudan, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Somalia.

The PM was responding to the complaints of the Turkana delegation who said they are besieged by raiders from Pokot, Somalia and Ethiopia and the Provincial Administration has not helped much.

He said insecurity had spread to the islands in Lake Victoria where fishermen are having a rough time because of frequent raids from Uganda.

The PM said the spread of insecurity to Kenya’s southern boundaries is a new phenomenon that was initially confined to the North of the country.

He said he would call for a meeting next year involving security agencies from Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania to discuss security along the countries’ common borders.

The Turkana leaders also lamented that they travel over 50 kilometers to get to registration centers for Identity Cards and that the provincial administration in the area was discriminating against residents because they voted for ODM.

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Mr Odinga instructed the Immigration Minister to get to the bottom of the registration problem and report to him early next year.

The PM said most of the issues regarding access to administration headquarters or registration centers would be resolved once the boundaries Commission begins work which will divide the country and share out administrative units professionally.

At the same time, the PM asked telecommunication firms to upgrade their networks in remote parts of the country especially Northern Kenya to enable residents keep in touch with the rest of the world. The Turkana leaders had complained that they are cut off by mobile phone companies.

The PM said he was taking up seriously and personally working on the Northern Corridor road, saying the road will open up Northern Kenya and firms would rush there for business.

He said the World Bank had agreed to restart the process of funding the road’s construction and the Minister of Finance would follow up with the bank early next year so that work could begin on the road.

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