In the interests of security and investments, Kenya and Tanzania have reached an agreement to partner in their fight against terrorism and human trafficking at their shared border.
“We have agreed to fight terrorism, drug and human trafficking, and the rest of the transboundary crimes that are making our region uncompetitive and giving us a bad name,” Kenyan President William Ruto said, as reported by Anadolu Agency. He spoke during a news briefing shortly after holding talks with his Tanzanian counterpart, President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
The two countries also plan to work together in other ways. The Star of Kenya reported that Kenya intends to build a natural gas pipeline from Tanzania’s main city, Dar es Salaam, to Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa and later to its capital, Nairobi. The plan is to lower energy tariffs, Ruto has said. The 600-kilometer pipeline will cost about $1.1 billion. The two countries have agreed to fast-track construction of the pipeline.
Extremists have been involved in terrorism, poaching and trafficking along the border of the two countries. The effect has been a loss of investor confidence in vital sectors of the two countries, including tourism and national gas exploration.
Ruto said the two countries will share resources, including information and defense strategies.
In recent years, security forces have been on high alert at the shared border to guard against extremists returning to Kenya from the conflict in Mozambique and plotting attacks. In August 2021, a special Kenyan police unit intercepted and arrested two terrorism suspects in Mombasa who had transported weapons across the border and were plotting an attack on the coastal city, The Economist reported.
“Kenyan security agents have been posted to the border to prevent criminals from crossing and are working with their counterparts in neighbouring Tanzania on joint patrols,” The Economist reported. “The Kenya Coast Guard is also on the lookout for terrorist cells that might seek to return to Kenya via the Indian Ocean.”