Defence Cabinet Secretary Hon. Aden Duale has met leaders from Wajir and Mandera Counties today to discuss the security status in the region.
The meeting held at the Defence Headquarters, Nairobi, was attended by five Members of Parliament from the two counties to discuss a joint approach in fighting terrorism to ensure the locals live in peace.
The CS maintained that security is a collective responsibility that demands concerted efforts from security agencies, local leaders, and the community.
He underscored that the safety of the region is as important as that of any other part of the country, adding that Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) continue to pose a serious threat to security
Hon. Duale affirmed that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) shall continue discharging their primary mandate of defending and protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic and called upon the leaders to contribute to security approaches by sharing intelligence.
He noted that many youths from the region have been recruited to criminal gangs and terror groups out of frustration and lack of job opportunities but added that the plan to reopen borders shall increase economic activities.
“There’s an ongoing conversation to re-open the borders at Mandera to enable cross-border trade with neighbouring countries. This shall keep the locals especially the youths busy and unavailable to join terror groups thus, we need your indulgence to ensure that even when the borders reopen, we scale up the security in the area,” said the CS.
In addition, women and religious leaders will also be incorporated to contribute to resilient peace and security measures.
His sentiments were echoed by the Vice Chief of Defence Forces (VCDF) Lieutenant General Francis Ogolla, who said that cooperation with local leaders shall yield results.
Hon Abdul Haro, the MP for Mandera South, urged the military to scale up the Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities among them sinking boreholes, building classes and medical outreach to continue endearing themselves with the community.
He added that the community shall continue reporting suspicious visitors to their regions to ensure that the people are screened by security agencies.
Present during the meeting were Principal Secretary Mr Patrick Mariru, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Operations Doctrine and Training (ACDF OPD&T) Major General Fredrick Leuria and other senior military officers.
Other MPs present include Hussein Weitan (Mandera East), Mohamed Abdirahman (Lafey), Hussein Barre (Tarbaj), and Adan Daud (Wajir East).