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Bridges but not walls please

One of the most controversial walls has been that of the West Bank, separating Israel and Palestine. It is built on 1949 amistice line (Green line). If Mr. Ariel Sharon is to be remembered, it will be of the huge wall he built separating Israel from Palestine. The wall brought some curses as well as blessings to Israel. But what has really changed so far? The Palestinian militants kept on throwing missiles into Israel across the wall, a reality that brought stalemate and war of Gaza recently. The tradition of building the wall is very ancient in the human civilization. Berlin wall is one of the ideas that failed miserably in 1989. It is a historical fact that nations would build walls around themselves in order to keep off their enemy nations. Castels were built in raised lands or perhaps on a hill top and well surrounded with a fortified walls. For instance, the Portuguese built Fort Jesus in Mombasa to defend themselves from the hostile Omani Arabs in the early days. But as story goes, they all died inside because they run out of food supply.
Jubilee government in Kenya has started the project of building a huge wall separating it from the terrorist devasted Somalia. A good idea. This weblog is interested in opening a debate on how this wall shall help Kenya solve its security nightmare? Will the wall bring diplomatic peace between Somalia and Kenya? Will Kenya use the wall to deport members of Al-Shabaab who already live inside Kenya and have invested? How safe will Kenya be with such an expensive and far fetched projects? Won’t the same perceived Somali militants use missiles instead? These are very disturbing questions that I would like to share with social media.
The recent world Index of the countries that are fragile, Kenya has slittered into position 23 from 27 of last year, while South Sudan and Somali share position 1, as the countries with the highest fragility risk. How is the wall going to sustain issues of security and fragility in Kenya? In the North Eastern part of Kenya, there are somali communities who have been living there from time immemorial and they believe that they have their cousins in the other side of the map. How is Kenya going to negotiate this when the wall will be fully erected? Did Kenya learn the controversies about the Israeli wall? Won’t the wall be seen as apartheid and discrimination? Is Kenya not openning a pandora box?
In the past, Kenya has severally hosted the Somali government. Kenya has been an active player in the peace process in Somalia and erecting the wall along the border may yield into diplomatic crisis between the two neighbouring countries. Lets wait and see.
I still believe that every government has obligation to secure its borders. It now transpires that some of the alleged criminals of terrorism are from UK and also from Kenya. Will the wall tame terrorists who are not Somali nationals? Who is Kenya walling out and who is it walling in?
Now Somali government has started to complain that Kenya did not consult before making the decision. Actually, a border is a shared space and both states must be in agreement.
Jubilee government did not even consult the opposition to begin with. It is a unilateral decision that will see Kenya spending huge amount of tax payers’ money. Indeed, if the wall can tame terrorism in Kenya, and make Kenya safer, then it is a project worth doing. But if all this will bring hell to a country whose politics is diverse, then the government must go back to the drawing table. Even the USA has migration issues with Mexico but any decision that will worsen the diplomatic relaitonship is treated with prudence. Many other nations that are disturbed with migration issues are considering the wall as the solution but they are not on a hurry. Border disputes have brought about untold wars among nations. Decision to erect a mighty wall may open the pandora box between Kenya and Somalia, and perhaps, with the international community, especially on matters violating human rights.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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