Kenya closes part of its border with Somalia

The Kenyan government says it closed part of its border with Somalia.

Kenya says the decision was reached as security operations against Al Shabaab militants in the area intensified. The country is also trying to crack down on human trafficking as well as the trafficking of contraband goods and drugs.

The closing affects the area of the border in Lamu county.  Residents living in border villages have been prohibited from any cross-border trade.

This comes barely a week after fishing activities off the coast near the Somalia border were outlawed.

The county officer says they are taking action by deploying officers in the region to allow the ban to take effect.

Lamu County Police Commander, Mr. Muchangi Kioi was quoted saying that those who contravene the directive will lose their business permits and will be arrested.

Mr. Kioi warned shop owners selling commodities from Somalia or ferrying goods from Kenya to Somalia saying, “Those smuggling contraband items from Kenya into Somalia and vice versa will have themselves to blame. We will destroy those items and close your shop. We will also arrest and prosecute you.”