The Kenya-Somalia borderline counties (KSBC), comprising of Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, and Lamu, have reached significant resolutions regarding the fight against the Al-Shabaab extremist group.

In a security meeting held in Wajir on Thursday, the leaders expressed grave concerns about the menace Al-Shabaab militants pose in the region, particularly impeding the development progress of the borderline counties.

“We met today as the Leaders and Security officials who are based in Northeastern Kenya to talk about the menace of Al-Shabaab and how they are trying to get a foothold in our region. We are here to ensure that meaningful steps are taken, to ensure that there is lasting peace in our region,” said Mohamed Adow, Wajir South MP.

“Since devolution, we are seeing some progress, but the menace of Al-Shabaab is putting that in jeopardy. We are trying to ensure, as Leaders and the government officials who are tasked with the issue of security, that Al-Shabaab is stopped in its tracks and that the attacks we have been seeing using improvised explosive devices come to a complete stop,” he added.

Furthermore, the leaders have recognized the negative impacts Al-Shabaab militants have on the region, contributing to poverty, low-quality education, and poor infrastructure.

“Despite the steps taken to combat the terror group and respond to the effects of this terror group, gaps remain, hence reinforcing the need to enhance community relations, civilian-military relations, and improving the role of the community in security responses,” reads the statement.

In an effort to develop security interventions, the leaders underscored the need to engage, involve, and consult key stakeholders in the community, including political leaders, traditional clan elders, area security chiefs, and other development partners at both the County and sub-county levels.

They have further agreed to initiate a plan to boost the budget of the local community security forces known as the Kenya Police Reservist (KPR).

“We proclaim the need to scale up investments in local community security to supplement the existing security measures to serve as a deterrence,” reads part of the statement.

This security meeting came just five days after the Kenya Defense Minister, Adan Barre Duale, toured the borderline districts amid frequent Al-Shabaab attacks that have killed more than 20 Kenyans in the past few weeks. Prior, the Interior Minister, Kithure Kindiki, visited the Northeastern Region aimed at encouraging the Security forces and mobilizing the community towards ‘community-military cooperation’ in combating Al-Shabaab.

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