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Kenya and Uganda to increase border points to boost trade

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni have agreed to open more border points linking the two East African countries.

At a meeting held at State House Mombasa, President Kenyatta and Museveni said opening more border points will boost trade ties between Kenyan and Uganda.

Museveni, who is in Kenya for a two-day state visit, said the free movement of people and goods along the border points will also reduce incidences of smuggling of contrabands.

“On free movement of people, we have agreed on more border crossing point. I know some of these boarder points, Malaba and Busia. But we need to have more official crossing points and I appeal to East Africans to use these legal entry points,” said Museveni.

President Kenyatta said the two neighbors have resolved to explore natural resources in border sections sustainably.

“The issue of Migingo is indeed one of the matters that we discussed. We have agreed to establish a formal border commission to look at the issue, not only of Migingo but the entire region and boundaries,” said President Kenyatta.

He said the two countries have also agreed to develop the Lake Victoria trade together.

Other issues that were discussed at length was the ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway linking Mombasa and Uganda Capital City, Kampala, and the export and import trade through the port of Mombasa.

Museveni said in 2013 President Kenyatta resolved the perennial cargo delays at the Mombasa port through the signing of the Mombasa Port Community Charter.

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“Some of the people at the port of Mombasa were causing artificial barriers thinking that they were doing Uganda a favor, unknowingly that they were sabotaging the economies of both Uganda and Kenya,” he said.

Museveni said since the signing of the Port Community Charter, in which he was also a witness, the cargo transportation delays have gone down.

“Hours spent from Mombasa to Uganda has been considerable reduced on the northern corridor,” said Museveni.

On Thursday, Museveni is expected to tour the port in the company of President Kenyatta and other government officials from both Kenya and Uganda.

Other issues which Kenyatta and Museveni discussed is the petroleum pipeline from Mombasa to Kisumu.

“In the coming years, a lot of cargo will move from road to railway and fuel transport from the road to the pipeline. Roads will be left for drunkards, ” said Museveni.

On the issue of regional security, the two head of states, agreed to talk to Somalia to curb the threats of terrorism.

“We are going to continue discussing so that we pacify Somalia. We shall talk with them and assure them there is a solution,” said Museveni.

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