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Kenya indefinitely closes border with Somalia, trade ban imposed

Kenya indefinitely closes border with Somalia, trade ban imposed

Kenya

<p>Multiple media sources in Kenya are reporting that the government has closed a border with neighbouring Somalia indefinitely with cross border trade banned in the process.</p> <p>The specific border point is the Lamu County area, one of four border crossings between the two neighbours. They are also joined by Mandera, Wajir and Garissa Counties.</p> <p>Reports indicate that the measure is part of security operations against Al-Shabaab insurgents operating from the Somali side. The regional <a href="https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/Kenya-closes-Somalia-border-in-Lamu/4552908-5152674-12xea5i/index.html">East African portal</a> quoted Lamu Country police chief as saying the border will only remain open to security officers.</p> <p>He added that with respect to ban on cross-border trade, persons that contravene the measure will lose their permits and also be arrested. “The border closure comes barely a week after fishing activities off the coast near the Somalia border were outlawed,” the report added.</p> <p>“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. </p> <p>“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,” police chief Kioi Muchangi said.</p> <p>The border closure also comes amid a diplomatic rift over a maritime demarcation that is currently before the International Court of Justice, <span class="caps">ICJ</span>, in The Hague.</p> <p>Kenya has in the past few months taken steps against Somalia in what analysts say is a move to pressure Mogadishu over the affair.</p> <p>Somali government officials were weeks ago denied entry into Kenya. They were detained at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, <span class="caps">JKIA</span>, and subsequently sent back to Mogadishu.</p> <p>In other manoeuvres, Kenya imposed a double security check for travellers from Mogadishu who first had to be cleared at Wajir County before flying to say Nairobi.</p> <p>The Somali federal government has in response to the deportation of its officials called on Kenya to commit to a peaceful resolution of differences rather than use of such tactics.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><span class="caps">KENYA</span> <span class="caps">CLOSES</span> border with Somalia in Lamu indefinitely as security operations intensify; border villages residents banned from cross-border trade. <a href="https://t.co/vURKuNqh2e">pic.twitter.com/vURKuNqh2e</a></p>— NationBreakingNews (@NationBreaking) <a href="https://twitter.com/NationBreaking/status/1138321148897312769?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
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