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Economy

Kenya marks Tanzania border afresh amid persistent row

A goods truck crosses into Tanzania from Kenya at the Namanga border. FILE PHOTO | nmg
A goods truck crosses into Tanzania from Kenya at the Namanga border. FILE PHOTO | nmg 

The Kenyan government has kicked off an exercise to re-affirm its territorial border with neighbouring Tanzania by replacing dilapidated and missing beacons and developing a vista along the common border.

Kenya shares a 769km border with Tanzania covering Narok, Kajiado, Migori, Taita-Taveta and Kwale regions in the South. It was drawn in 1884 by the colonialists.

The exercise comes amid strained diplomatic relations between the two countries over the seizure and sale of 1,125 cattle belonging to Kenyan Maasai herders by Tanzanian authorities who also auctioned another 2,400 cattle after they crossed into Mount Kilimanjaro National Park in search of pasture last year.

The Kenya International borders secretary, Juster Nkoroi said the joint exercise between the two countries would start on March 22 and would cover 238km in the first phase along the Narok and Migori borders.

On Monday, Ms Nkoroi led a multi-sectoral team from her office and other related ministries in a two-day sensitisation workshop.

The forum brought together county commissioners, sub-county commissioners and security teams from Narok.

The security teams will provide security along the border during the exercise.

Addressing the press during the workshop, Ms Nkoroi said a joint inspection along the border between Kenya and Tanzania will follow to identify missing border marks.

The beacons will stand 100 metres apart, and a five-metre vista would be cleared to make the boundary visible and allow movement of security personnel who would be manning the border from different points.

“What will follow is sensitisation of the communities along the common border, and then demarcation, mapping and preparation of the draft would follow,” said Ms Nkoroi.

The Kenya-Tanzania border is shared among communities from both sides and there has been cross-border business, agriculture and cattle grazing, especially by Maasai herders. Despite the Tanzanian government having allocated Tsh4 billion ($2 million) to replace beacons, Kenya says it has no budgetary allocation.

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