NAIROBI, Kenya — Former National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Farah Maalim, has called for the reopening of the Kenya-Somalia border in Wajir and Mandera counties to facilitate cross-border trade between the two countries.
The government shut down the border close to four years ago, as part of the security operations against the Al-Shabaab terror group operating from the Somali side.
Apart from security, there were also concerns about drug trafficking and the smuggling of counterfeit goods from across the borders.
Maalim, who is contesting for the Dadaab Constituency seat in the coming General Election said there is a need to relook at the decision and allow cross border trade and establish customs offices in the border areas to levy taxes.
“The opening of the Kenya-Somalia border is not an option. We shall push for that and make sure it remains open,” Maalim said.
“We can create a border economy and be in a position to eliminate cross-border insecurity. Currently, there is no sharing of pastures, economic resources, or security intelligence between the two sides because the border is closed,” he added.
The former Legislator said that the opening of the border will support the integration in the greater Horn of Africa, thus important for the economy of the country.
Among the border points that were closed include Liboi, El-Wak, Diff, and Hamuma in Wajir.
Sources: The Capital News