For most opponents of the barrier wall that is set to be constructed on the border between Somalia and Kenya, the project is in vain because – the argument goes – the terrorists are within our boundaries anyway.
Isn’t that a bit like arguing that since past raids to a house have been through the fence situated at the rear, there is no need of putting up a solid gate at the front?
I strongly support the barrier. Israel’s border breaches by militants fell 75% within the first year of the Jewish state building theirs, the Koreas are separated by one, the Americans have it on their Mexico side and Bulgaria is currently building one on their border with Turkey.
Granted, not all walls have been successful in warding off threats. Indeed, the wall is not the panacea to all our security woes. No one thing is; not the installation of security cameras everywhere or doubling the numbers of our police service members. We have to keep aiming to seal all avenues through which crime and terror rear their ugly head.
Others argue quite foolishly that the fact that certain characters will use the security barrier project to ‘eat’ is more reason why we should have no wall.
Even though this post is intended to defend the merits of the wall, not the process through which it comes to being, it would be the height of folly if we formed a habit of killing projects “so money is not ‘eaten'”.
And if the argument is any philosophy by which to run affairs, we could as well shut down the port of Mombasa because contraband goods pass through it.
I have nothing but despise for those who argue that having a wall is useless because the Al Shabaab threat is already within our border.
The Arabs have a saying – Pray to Allah but tie your camel. Let’s pray and tie all our camels. All of them. Including the wall.
Besides, the wall is not only for today’s security challenges. Think about tomorrow’s illegal incursions, or the influx of illicit arms and merchandise like sugar, drugs. Think also of how cheaper it will be in the long term, in terms of security headcount, patrol cars and fuel savings, for instance.
Moreover, the barrier won’t shut out Kenya from her eastern neighbour. There will be intervals at which cross border movement and interaction will be allowed, but in a controlled (read secured) way.