, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo says the Migingo Island stand-off will be resolved through diplomacy with Uganda.
Speaking while outlining her ministry’s achievements in the last three years on Tuesday morning, Omamo explained that Uganda is a friendly nation, thus Kenya cannot resort to a show of might over the issue.
- Kenya and Uganda have for long held discussions but failed to agree with Uganda said to have lay claim to the island and has more police presence that Kenya.
- The development came in the wake of a series of dramatic harassment of Kenyans and even government officials by Uganda security forces.
“Our feeling is that this is a matter that can be dealt with through diplomatic channels, it’s a matter that can be dealt with through the Ministry of Interior, through the joint border commissions that are established. We feel that not every border dispute warrants soldiers on the ground,” she stated.
Her sentiments were echoed by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery who is working closely with the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to enhance security in the area.
“The Joint Border Commission between Kenya and Uganda held a meeting in Eldoret and the recommendation was that we deploy police there. There is no doubt that Migingo Island belongs to Kenya and Uganda is not claiming it,” the Interior CS explained.
He revealed that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni held a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday and they had given him specific instructions on how to handle the issue.
“We have looked at the issue critically, looking at the security aspect of it and it does not warrant escalating it to the level of military-to-military. First and foremost, Uganda is a very friendly country,” he said. “We are working on a cooperation as East African community so we have to use peaceful means in resolving our conflicts rather than resort to force.”
Kenya and Uganda have for long held discussions but failed to agree with Uganda said to have lay claim to the island and has more police presence that Kenya.
The development came in the wake of a series of dramatic harassment of Kenyans and even government officials by Uganda security forces.
According to Nkaissery, the two countries have resolved to expedite the necessary processes for the completion of the demarcation of the common border including marine boundary.
Furthermore, the Joint Border Commissioners’ meeting also decided to streamline the vetting process for the acquisition of national identity cards in a bid to boost security at the porous border.