By Winnie Kabintie
Kenyan security forces at the borders are to blame for giving terrorist access to the country, a UN report has revealed.
According to the Somalia report 20128 released on Tuesday by the Somalia and Eritrea monitoring group (SEMG), Kenya’s border security forces constantly allow militants to cross in and out of the country after receiving bribes as low as Sh 2,000.
The report particularly highlights the foiled attack in February this year that saw police nub an explosive-laden vehicle in Merti, Isiolo, in what authorities said would have been the biggest terror attack in the country after the Garissa university massacre that saw 67 students killed.
“Police statements from the arrested Al –shabaab operatives show that they were able to pass with little interference back and forth across the porous Kenya-Somalia border, facilitated by bribes to various security officials on both sides,” The UN report states.
The report confirms earlier reports by Kenyan authorities that revealed police officers helped smuggled some of the explosives nabbed in the foiled attack.
In March, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua revealed how Al Shabaab terrorists bribed police officers who helped them smuggle explosives into Kenya last year.
After receiving the bribes, the police at the Kenya-Somalia border handcuffed the terrorists and escorted them all the way to Mombasa. This helped the terrorists to evade further scrutiny at various roadblocks.
POROUS KENYA-SOMALIA BORDER
Laxity at the Kenya-Somalia border has been one of the key reasons security experts have often cited as a key contributor to the numerous terror attacks carried out by Al Shabaab in Kenya.
According to the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, effective border security is the first line of defence against the movement of terrorists and is key to the effective implementation of counter-terrorism measures.
KENYAN POLICE FOIL MAJOR TERROR ATTACK
The main terrorists in the foiled terror attack, who were identified as Abdimajit Hassan, and Mohammed Nanne Osman were arrested in Merti, Isiolo, as they transported a vehicle laden with a total; 110 kilogrammes of explosive, five AK-47 rifles, 36 gun machines, three Nokia phones, 36 unprimed hand grenades, 18 pairs of grenade primers, five military-grade projectiles and three military knives.
According to the police, the terrorists, who have since been charged with seven counts of crime and are still in remand after they were denied bail, were targeting key government installations including the Supreme Court, KICC and parliament building.
Three Kenyan civilians including a 23-year-old young woman were charged alongside the terrorists for helping them procure fake identification cards.