Kenya, Uganda launch island survey

May 11, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – Kenya and Uganda have launched a joint border survey programme aimed at resolving the dispute over Migingo Island.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said on Monday that the two-month exercise scheduled to commence immediately will cost Sh280 million contributed equally by both countries.

He stated that documents from both Kenya and Uganda will be used to conduct the exercise.

“The survey shall be guided by the following documents; the 1926 Order in Council, the 1995 Uganda Constitution and any other relevant document,” Mr Wetangula explained.

“The survey team will move to the ground forthwith and is expected to complete its work within two months,” he said.

He further emphasised that the location of the island will be determined by the positions of islands surrounding it to determine its exact location.

“Straight lines shall be drawn from Remba Island which lies to the slight north of Migingo. In determining the boundary at the tri-junction of the three East African countries (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), the government of Tanzania shall be requested to be part of the survey,” he explained.

Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni last month directed the joint team surveying the boundary between the two countries on Lake Victoria to conclude its works within two months.

The two Heads of State, who met on the sidelines of the 10th Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State in Arusha, Tanzania also agreed that the Ugandan flag on Migingo Island be lowered pending the completion of the survey work.

The leaders had further directed the Inspector General of Police of Uganda and Police Commissioner of Kenya to constantly consult to ensure that law and order is maintained on the Island.

During the execution of its work, the communiqué noted, the Joint survey Team shall be guided by the provisions of the British Order in Council of 1926, the Kenyan Constitution of 1963 and the Ugandan Constitution of 1995.

The two Heads of State expressed concern over the negative sentiment elicited by the misunderstanding on the Migingo Island and agreed to continue to consult amicably in order to ensure the matter is settled in the true spirit of furthering East African Cooperation.

Presidents Kibaki and Museveni reaffirmed the mutual objective of both nations to attain regional integration within the framework of the treaty establishing the East African Community.


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