Issue 1: COUNTER TERRORISM AND SECURITY STRATEGIES ALONG THE KENYA-SOMALI BORDER

Terror attacks have preoccupied Kenya’s national security agenda for the past two decades. At the root of the insecurity is the state collapse of Somalia in 1991. Since then, terrorism, violent extremism, and radicalization perpetrated by the al-Shabaab, have become serious threats to Kenya’s national security. Al-Shabaab has been crossing the porous border with Kenya, radicalizing and recruiting Kenyan’s, training, and deploying them to carry out attacks on Kenyan soil in recent years. Persistent deadly attacks provoked the government to send its troops into Somalia to reduce the insurgent’s capability to conduct attacks across Kenya, on 14 October 2011. At the same time, specialized security units supported by the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) were deployed along the border to prevent further incursions. For some time, the strategy seemed to be working. However, over time, the al-Shabaab group has adapted, identified gaps – systemic, operational, or tactical – and penetrating our defences causing serious casualties, damage to property, and low morale of the security forces. This brief makes proposals that can cure the deficit in the quality of the security forces charged with the defence and protection of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and safety of the Kenyan people.

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