Somalia/June 12, 2019/Agency Reporter /No Comment/155 views /Somalia East Africa: Kenya Shuts Somalia Border As Secessionist Group Raises Eyebrowsshare on:FacebookTwitter Google +Pinterest Tumblr Linked InEmailSend to Email Address:Your NameYour Email AddressEmail check failed, please try againCancelBy Aggrey Mutambo, Manase Otsialo, Kalume Kazungu Fears over a new secessionist outfit benefiting from contraband trade have fuelled Kenya’s swift move to shut down its border with Somalia. On Tuesday, the Kiunga border point in Lamu County became the latest to be closed as Kenyan authorities argued they were blocking routes for smuggling, terror merchants and human trafficking. County Police Commander Muchangi Kioi said his officers will now confiscate goods and prosecute those found to be flouting the ban, in an area that has already been red-pencilled for Al-Shabaab activity. Only security agents will be allowed across the border point. “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,” said Mr Kioi. “Those smuggling contraband items from Kenya into Somalia and vice-versa will have themselves to blame. We will destroy those items and close your shop. We will also arrest and prosecute you.” ALSO READ Somalia: Firing Squad Executes a Man for the Rape of 18-Year-Old GirlVETTING While Mr Kioi implements the government directive in Lamu, senior officials were meeting in Nairobi to discuss the emerging outfit known as the Northern Frontier District Independence Party, a mysterious movement whose members brand themselves as “freedom fighters”. More on This The meeting, which brought together security chiefs and diplomats, analysed the participation of certain politicians from the north eastern region in the group, and how smuggling is aiding the nascent secessionist claim. Some local politicians, most of who lost in the 2017 General Election, have been fingered for holding meetings among the Somali community in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia — where the idea of secession was reintroduced. As part of the crackdown, the Nation learnt, the government will be vetting the politicians’ financial accounts and their investments to check if they have laundered money. ALSO READ Somalia: European Union Aids Families Severely Hit By DroughtSOCIO-POLITICAL PARTY The group, whose actual membership is unknown, has recently been active on social media, reviving the old claim for secession, which was crushed at Kenya’s independence. Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and sometimes Marsabit and Isiolo, are often collectively known as Northern Frontier District, borrowing from a colonial tag when the British administered the region from a distance because of its harsh weather. On Sunday, the group posted on Twitter a message rallying members to support separation of the counties from Kenya into an independent country, this time stopping short of saying they will join Somalia (as the pre-independence demand was then). “We are a social political party that is proposing an independent republic of NFD, free from Kenya and free from Somalia,” the group said in a statement. “This movement is a result of continuous oppression from Kenya and Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab attacks KDF; KDF attacks innocent NFD. No more,” the group added without substantiating. ATTACKS While self-determination is guaranteed in the law, officials feel the targeting of security agencies — the police and the Kenya Defence Forces — warrants an urgent crackdown. ALSO READ Somalia: Al-Shabaab Attack in Somali Capital Kills at Least 10The move on Lamu means the entire Kenya-Somalia border points from Mandera, Dhobley and down to Kiunga are officially shut. Last week, fishers were banned from seeking catch in Lamu waters, and security patrols increased. In 2014, then Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery shut the Mandera crossing, due to increase in terror activities in the North Eastern region. It had followed the killing of 60 people in cold blood in two different attacks by Al-Shabaab. A bus was attacked while heading to Nairobi and 28 people were killed, most of them teachers and health workers. Ten days later, 36 quarry workers were killed at night at their place of work. The government declared the border closed to reduce free entry and exit of people into Mandera. Leave A Comment Below Related Tags:Somalia share on: FacebookTwitter Google +Pinterest Tumblr Linked InEmailSend to Email Address:Your NameYour Email AddressEmail check failed, please try againCancel previous articleDisney Releases Official Trailer For “Frozen 2”next articleIvan Golunov freed but at least six other journalists still held in Russia | Reporters without bordersRelated Posts442 shares Somalia/June 26, 2019 /No Comment Somalia: ICJ to Begin Hearing of Kenya-Somalia Maritime Case in SeptemberSomalia/June 26, 2019 /No Comment Somalia: New Special Representative of UN Secretary – General for Somalia Reports On DutySomalia: New Special Representative of UN Secretary-General Pledges Collaboration With AMISOMKenya-Somalia Border Case Hearing to Start in SeptemberKenya: Somalia Maritime Case Hearing Starts in SeptemberSomalia: Who and Unicef Somalia and Partners Call On All Somalis to Vaccinate Children Against Polio Polio Teams Roll Out Targeted Polio Campaign to Halt Ongoing OutbreakKenya: Al-Shabaab Waning as Kenya Takes Fight to Their Home BasesKenya-Somalia Maritime Case Set for SeptemberSomalia: China Supports Somalia to Embark On the Path of Recovery AgainSomalia: President Farmajo Pledges to Strengthen Federalism Leave a Response Cancel reply CommentName Email Sign me up for the newsletter! Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.