The Manda Bay station in Lamu County, being upgraded into a full military base, will now serve as a co-ordination centre to secure maritime and land territories.
Lapsset and Lamu ports are part of Kenya’s critical national and international investment deserving maximum security.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday at the presentation of Presidential Regiment Colours to the Kenyan Navy in Manda Base, “Given the growing investments in this part of our country and the promise of the maritime domain, Manda is an invaluable listening and watching tower for Kenya and Kenyans”
“We are steadfastly committed to making Boni area a peaceful and stable economic hub. Those infrastructure projects will support the livelihoods of our people within the region,” he said.
Lapsset, a $23 billion project was mooted in 2012 by Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia to construct interconnected ports, railways, airports and roads. Lamu port has so far set up the first berth. But the project largely relies on security and commitments by the three countries to see the projects built.
Government says the Manda Base upgrade is about guarding the border against external attacks; it comes as the International Court of Justice prepares to deliver a judgement in the maritime border case between Somalia and Kenya on October 12.
Mogadishu sued Kenya at the ICJ, seeking to redraw its maritime boundary from Kiunga, just north of Manda.
Manda was also critical in Kenya’s entry into Somalia in pursuit of kidnappers and later terrorist cells and the final onslaught on Kismayu which uprooted al-Shabaab .
President Kenyatta said the naval base is strategically located and has played a critical role defending Kenya’s sovereignty, maintaining territorial integrity, and securing the nation’s maritime borders.
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