Thursday, December 10, 2015

Kenya, Ethiopia ink deal to end Moyale border conflict

By Agencies, Citizen Digital

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

President Uhuru Kenyatta  and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn promised on Monday to create jobs, reduce poverty and foster trade in their restive borderlands, where conflict has intensified in recent years.
The Sh20 billion project aims to create a trade and investment hub along the remote 860 km (530 mile) border where human, arms and drug trafficking are rife, the head of the United Nations in Kenya, Nardos Bekele-Thomas, said.
“The problem here is poverty,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It’s just hopelessness that creates insecurity.”

Clashes between herding communities over grazing land, water and cattle have become increasingly deadly due to an influx of guns, as well as political power struggles and fast-growing populations.
Kenya’s army was sent to restore order to the border town of Moyale, 800km (500 miles) north of the capital Nairobi, in 2013 after dozens were killed and villages were burned to the ground in a jostle for power between rival clan militias.
Around two-thirds of the population of Kenya’s Marsabit County – more than 70,000 people – fled, mostly to Ethiopia’s Borana Zone where many have relatives, the U.N. said.
“We can exchange conflict and insecurity for peace and prosperity,” Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta told dignitaries seated in a white tent decorated with the two countries’ national colours.
“We shall work together to ensure that Moyale becomes the Dubai of the Horn of Africa,” he added, referring to the Middle Eastern trade hub.

A tarmac road linking Nairobi and the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is due to be completed by September 2016, he said.
Restoring peace will be a challenge. The arid region is awash with guns due to its proximity to unstable Somalia where al Qaeda-linked militants have been fighting to topple the government.
Ethiopian soldiers also make sporadic incursions into Kenya in pursuit of Oromo Liberation Front rebels.
Many homesteads have guns to deter invaders, while herders often carry firearms to protect their animals because there is little police presence.
With the support of Western donors and the World Bank, the governments plan to diversify the livestock-dominated local economies and improve access to water, education and healthcare.
Eight in ten residents of Marsabit County live below the poverty line, government data shows.
Security officials held back large crowds who lined the road to watch the lengthy convoy of officials speed through the town.
Among them, 18-year-old Abdi Aden Adow said governments should boost cross-border trade as frequent droughts have pushed his family, who keep goats and camels, into poverty.
“There is no rain,” he said. “Life is very hard.”

Monday, November 30, 2015

Standard Digital News - Kenya : Police arrest Iranian-trained suspects allegedly planning attack in Kenya

Police arrest Iranian-trained suspects allegedly planning attack in Kenya By Standard Reporter Updated Saturday, November 28th 2015 at 17:11 GMT +3 Share this story: Share on Facebook Tweet Google Plus Linkedin 86 Comments Suspects Abubakar Sadiq Louw (left) and Yassin Sambai Juma  have admitted to conspiring to mount terror attacks against western targets in Kenya. Nairobi: Police have arrested two Kenyans suspected to have been recruited into an Iranian terror ring to carry terror strikes targeting both locals and foreigners in the country. Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the two, Abubakar Sadiq Louw (69) and Yassin Sambai Juma (25), were instructed to recruit more Kenyans into the ring. Police are interrogating the suspects with an aim of squeezing more information from them. Abubakar is a senior figure in Nairobi Shiite community. According to police sources, he was arrested on October 29 after a long intensive police investigation. He admitted recruiting young Kenyans to spy and mount terror attacks in Nairobi. He was working on behalf of the Qods Force, the clandestine overseas military wing of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which carries out the terror activities worldwide. Juma on the other hand is one of the students recruited by Sadiq. During the probe, Sadiq also divulged to the investigators that he arranged for Juma to travel to Iran and introduced him to the Qods Force contact, nicknamed "Parsa".  “Parsa" subsequently gave Juma a set of tasks and Western targets for future terror attacks in Nairobi.  Police arrested Juma on the November 19, upon his returned to Nairobi after having undertaken some military training in Iraq. Sadiq's and Juma's arrest came after months of secret intensive work by Kenyan Police, in cooperation with the other law enforcement agencies in Africa. The Iranian Qods Force has been trying to operate in Kenya for years to recruit young Muslims and train them to smuggle explosives in the country. However they are encountering rigorous efforts by Kenya Police and law enforcement agencies to foil terror activity in the country. See also: Pope: Trafficking in natural resources fuels 'instability', 'terrorism' The police are working closely with the local Shiite Muslim community to determine threats and locate anyone who may be working for the Iranian government against Kenyan interests. The last attempted attack by the Qods force in Kenya was foiled in January 2012, when two Iranian operatives were arrested with 15kg explosives. The two men, Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi, were tried and convicted of committing acts intended to cause serious harm, including planning attacks in Kenya.

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