Kenyatta Hits Out at Neighbouring Countries Over Border Rows

President Uhuru Kenyatta has reiterated Kenya's commitment to guarding its borders against external forces and warned unnamed forces against disrespecting Kenya's territorial integrity.

Speaking on Wednesday during a visit to Lamu's Boni Forest, which sits on the border of Kenya and Somalia, he warned that his government will not accept anyone claiming any part of Kenyan land.

"We will not accept anyone claiming ownership of any part of our land. Just as we have respected boundaries of other countries, we expect expect our borders and land are equally respected," the President said.

His comments could be seen as a veiled message to Somalia, which has a running maritime boundary dispute with Kenya. In 2014, Somalia instituted proceedings against Kenya at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the dispute that concerns "the establishment of the single maritime boundary between the two countries in the Indian Ocean.

Additionally, Boni forest, which extends to the Somali border, is a notorious sanctuary for extremist group Al-Shabaab, whose fighters use it as a launching pad for incursions into Lamu and neighbouring Garissa and Tana River counties.

Kenya has also grappled with illegal crossings between Kenya and Ethiopia, the most recent being Ethiopian authorities abducting nine Kenyans in Moyale on accusations that they were harboring rebels.

Mr Kenyatta noted that Kenya was a peace-loving nation that wants to live in peace with its neighbours, and has since taken part in various peace support initiatives in other countries.

He was visiting a multi-agency security team in Boni which is currently undertaking a joint operational training dubbed Field Training Exercise (FTX).

The Exercise, coordinated by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), brings together troops from National Police Service (NPS), National Youth Service (NYS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and the Kenya Coast Guard (KCGS).

President Kenyatta congratulated the troops for their training, thanking them for the various social projects they had undertaken in host communities.

These included restoration of hospitals, drilling boreholes, renovating schools and offering medical interventions.

He said the projects will go a long way in changing the mindset of citizens towards security agencies.

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