Border Security Management and State Security: a Case Study of Kenya and Somalia Border Relations (1991-2017)

Atinga Reuben, Morumbasi Kigen, Handa Stephen


The porous border of Kenya-Somalia has always been problematic to the Kenyan government, ever since the Somali government’s fall in 1991. This study was based along the Kenya-Somalia boundary in Mandera County. The study examined border security management and state security between Kenya-Somalia from 1991-2017. One specific objective guided it: To, identified cross-border security threats along with the Kenya-Somalia border. The study applied theories of structural realism and border security theory/ psychoanalytic theory.

The study was guided by descriptive survey research design and experimental research designs. This research used several sampling strategies: convenience, systematic, snowball, random sampling, and purposive techniques. The researcher selected a sample size of 398 that comprised heads of families.

Further, 85 critical informants of private and public responders were chosen from the two case studies. Primary information was gathered using FGDs, survey tools such as questionnaires and observations and interviews. On the other hand, secondary data is retrieved through relevant articles and publication content analysis. Descriptive and inferential statistics proved vital in analyzing preliminary information, while content analysis was utilized when analyzing qualitative data. Tables and figures presented the data analyzed. The study established that 70% of the respondents stated that terrorism was a critical security threat along the Kenya-Somalia border. The researcher was informed of a newly emerging strategy employed in terrorism, through which the beasts of burden( donkey) has made the war against terror more complex. The donkey, a domesticated animal, is used by man as a helper; however, the latest creative (mis) use of the beast of burden for terrorism has emerged as a critical concern to the security apparatus.


border; border security management; state security; terrorism; structural realism; border security theory; securitization

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