Checkpoints are not only devices to generate revenue but also governing devices to promote some forms of trade and block others. In the context of the conflict between al-Shabaab and the government, checkpoint taxes are used to implement economic sanctions by blockading specific forms of exchange between enemy-held locations.

This study investigates the dynamics and impact of checkpoints operated by different armed groups along the Garissa corridor, including the tax burden, security implications and competing interests. The report begins by providing background on how checkpoints evolved in Somalia, focusing on Jubaland. It then discusses current dynamics along the route, examining the differential impact on markets and security, as well as the strategies used by transporters to mitigate the burden of cross-border checkpoints. It goes on to analyse implications for security and competing state-making projects before providing conclusions and recommendations.

This report was originally published on the Rift Valley Institute website.