Kenya boosts Somali border security

July 25, 2009 12:00 am

, GARISSA, Kenya, Jul 25 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on Saturday launched a massive peace and security awareness campaign covering North Eastern Province in response to the on-going conflict in Somalia.

The Campaign which kicked off during a leaders meeting at the Garissa Government Guest House will cover all districts in the province.

"This exercise will be spearheaded by religious leaders, Members of Parliament, civic leaders and women leaders among other groups," he said.

The Vice President reiterated that Kenya will not send troops to Somalia but will ensure that her borders are guarded against aggression from the war-torn Somalia.

Cabinet ministers Yusuf Haji (Defence), Prof George Saitoti (Internal Security), Mohamed Elmi (Development of Northern Kenya), several assistant ministers and MPs from the North Eastern Province were among leaders who attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the leaders concluded that what was happening in Somalia was not a religious matter but foreign ideologies being imposed on Somalis which they said should not be brought to Kenya.

The VP called on the youth from the region to engage in constructive engagements through "Kazi Kwa Vijana" initiative and resist any attempts to involve themselves in the Somali crisis.

The government has been working with other nations to try to keep Somali militias such as the radical al-Shabab group at bay.

Kenya has also promised to reinforce security at its border following fears that the Islamic militia group was recruiting youths in Kenya to fight in Somalia.

The government has also blamed Somali insurgents for an influx of illegal weapons into the country.

Officials have been discussing how to stop incursions since last week when militants snatched three foreign aid workers from the town of Mandera.

Earlier this year militants from Somalia abducted two Italians nuns from the same border area.

The two were released a few weeks later after ransom money was paid.



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