Raila guarantees to reopen the Kenya-Somalia border if elected

United Resolution One Kenya’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga speaks to residents at Moi Stadium in Mandera metropolis. Photo: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Azimio la Umoja Kenya’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga has promised to reopen the closed Kenya-Somalia border if elected on 9 August.

Raila mentioned the border will likely be opened to allow enterprise movement between the 2 international locations.

“We will put in place everything necessary to secure operations at this border so that we can interact freely with our Somalia brothers,” he mentioned.

The Azimio presidential candidate, accompanied by his deputy Martha Karua and amongst different leaders, promised to make sure safety is improved in Mandera and within the better northeastern area.

The area has continued to be beneath assault from Somalia-based al Shabaab militants.

The most up-to-date incident was on Thursday when armed militants stopped a bus coming into Mandera and lectured to passengers for not less than two hours.

Raila mentioned he had stood with the area for a long time, noting that he has at all times meant nicely to the Northeast.

The former prime minister mentioned his authorities will deal with bettering infrastructure within the area to open it as much as the remaining of the nation.

He cited the continued building of the Horn of Africa escape venture that cuts by Isiolo, Wajir, and ends in Mandera by Elwak metropolis.

For Mandera, the ODM chief mentioned his authorities will construct the Mandera-Takaba-Moyale highway to ease the fee of doing enterprise.

United One Resolution Kenya’s deputy comrade Martha Karua is addressing residents at Moi Stadium in Mandera metropolis. Photo: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Leaders of the area led by Mandera Governor Ali Roba have been constant in pleading with the nationwide authorities to reopen the border, saying its continued closure not solely damage enterprise between neighboring international locations but additionally affected the county’s economic system.

However, their quite a few prayers have by no means borne a lot fruit.

The authorities closed the border in 2014 after a wave of assaults orchestrated by al Shabaab.

The transfer, in response to the federal government, was additionally meant to cease the concern of sneaking smuggled items and unlawful firearms by the porous borders.

Raila additionally referred to as for respect among the many political events that make up the Azimio coalition, simply hours after chaos marred the demonstration earlier than his arrival.

Supporters of UDM candidate Mohamed Adan Khalif and ODM candidate Hassan Noor Hassan clashed earlier than the arrival of Azimio leaders.

But calm was restored after the ODM chief arrived and managed to show to 1000’s of his supporters within the cities of Elwak and Mandera.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba addresses the residents of Moi Stadium in Mandera throughout an Azimo rally attended by, amongst others, presidential candidate Raila Odinga. Photo: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Governor Roba, who has emerged because the area’s political kingpin and is head of the UDM, mentioned as leaders from the North East that they’d unanimously agreed to assist Raila for the nation’s high job.

“We are aware of the unique problems that arise from the periods before independence and our geography as a region, including marginalization, insecurity, drought leading to drought and floods, poor infrastructure, insufficient access to opportunities for education, poverty and famine.” he mentioned.

Roba added: “In this regard, we reaffirm our support for the efforts of HE President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rt Hon Raila Odinga to unite the country as a precondition for national development, and we will make an effort to repeat the efforts in our counties.”

Roba mentioned their assist is linked to his previous and current political beliefs, which they famous would tackle the socio-economic aspirations of the area, pastoralists and ASAL communities basically.

Roba mentioned the area and leaders could have their very own clan points to take care of, however was fast so as to add that it should not stand in the way in which of searching for votes from residents.

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