11 June 2019

Somalia: Kenya Closes Border With Somalia in Lamu

Photo: Kazungu Kalume/Daily Nation
Police on patrol in Lamu (file photo).

Kenya has closed its border with Somalia in Lamu indefinitely.

The announcement came on Tuesday with the government saying the decision was reached as security operations in the area intensified.Border villages and residents have also been banned from cross-border trade.

This announcement comes barely a week after Kenya banned fishing activities off the Coast near the Somalia border over security concerns.

Lamu County Police Commander Mr Muchangi Kioi said the border will only remain open to security officers.

Authorities cite illegal trade including fake goods and human and drug trafficking having been on the riThe county police chief says officers have been patrolling Ishakani, Kiunga, and Ras Kamboni to effect the ban and that they have seized 10 bags of contraband sugar and several cartons of milk.

"We have already seized at least 10 bags of illegal sugar of Brazilian origin. They were purchased from Somalia by residents in Kiunga. I want to make it clear that it is an offence to engage in any manner of cross-border trade with those from Somalia. Apart from security concerns, we are also aware of human and narcotics trafficking. That must stop. It is now a crime and for those who do not know, the border remains closed until further notice," said Mr Kioi.

The police boss also warned shop owners selling commodities from Somalia or those ferrying products from Kenya to Somalia.

"Those smuggling contraband items from Kenya into Somalia and vice versa will have themselves to blame. We will destroy those items and close your shop. We will also arrest and prosecute you," said Mr Kioi.se in the region.

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