Border Security Challenges: 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 challenges between Kenya- Somalia from 1991-to 2017. One specific objective guided it: to discuss challenges to border security strategies along with Kenya- Somalia border. 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 was 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 present the data analyzed. The study established that 86 % of the respondents stated that regional politics, power politics and geopolitical conflicts were significant impediments to border management strategies. It was concluded that geopolitical disputes were the main challenge encountered in border management strategies. The study recommends that Kenya partner with like-minded stronger countries in Africa's horn, affected by the Somali problem like Ethiopia, and develop a common approach to learning from them on dealing with the border issue.


Border; Border Security Management; State Security; Terrorism; Structural Realism; Border Security Theory; Securitization

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