NAIROBI (HOL)- The government of Kenya on Friday officially announced that it halted the Construction of the controversial Security Wall along its border with Somalia.
Mandera County Governor, Ali Roba said the East Africa nation paused the construction of the wall to allow Kenya and Somalia to engage in further negotiations on the border issue.
Roba pointed out that the decision was reached to quell the rising tension among people who live near the border.
“We decided to stop the wall for two reasons, the first one is, to verify and dismiss the negative propaganda about border security programme and the second one is, to give the two countries more time to discuss on the wall,” said Mr Roba during a joint press conference with his counterpart Gedo Governor, Mr. Mohamed Muhumed.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Mohamed Abdullahi of Somalia will hold talks over this border issue and as soon as they reach mutual understanding, the construction will resume,” Mr. Roba told the reporters in Mandera town.
For his part, Gedo governor, Mohamed Muhumed welcomed the decision by the government of Kenya to stop the construction of the barrier.
“Consultations have been ongoing for the past three days over the construction of the security wall on the Somalia and Kenya border, today we reached a decision to partially solve and ease the escalating tension,” said Muhumed.
He noted that the two Presidents had already talked on the phone and agreed to meet soon.
“The Presidents have already talked about this issue and they have an appointment to meet soon,” he explained, ” The leaders will discuss on several issues related to the wall including the reasons for the construction, its negative and positive impacts on the residents of both sides.”
According to Beled Hawo administration, Kenyan forces demolished five houses on Somalia’s side as they have also marked several others for demolition.
The move sparked mass demonstrations across Gedo region.
The irate residents were demanding compensation for the demolished houses and Kenya government to stop the wall.
The government of Kenya started the construction of the security wall along its border with Somalia after Al-Shabaab carried out deadly attacks inside Kenya.