In Summary
  • The dispute over Migingo Island in Lake Victoria has dragged on for 15 years. The one-acre island, close to Kenya in Migori County, is rich in fish.
  • The Kenyatta-Museveni MoU seeks to clarify the border, create more points for legal crossings as well as provide guidelines on sharing resources.
  • Dr Juma said Kenya will not cede any part of its territory, adding that the surveys are meant to ensure neighbouring governments are clear on common boundaries.

Kenya and Uganda will carry out a boundary survey and demarcation as part of efforts to resolve the Migingo Island dispute.

Foreign Affairs minister Monica Juma said the project, to be undertaken following an Memorandum of Understanding with Kampala, was part of a wider programme to improve relations between communities living on Kenya’s border with other countries.

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni reached an understanding when the latter toured Kenya on a state visit.

Both sides will appoint experts on a joint survey team.

THE MoU

The Kenyatta-Museveni MoU seeks to clarify the border, create more points for legal crossings as well as provide guidelines on sharing resources, the Cabinet Secretary said on Thursday.

A similar arrangement was reached with Ethiopia and Tanzania, where border communities have experienced disputes over pasture and land.

“We are thinking about facilitating the interface between communities that are cross-border. There is even a motion around soft borders to facilitate trade between cross-border communities. We have families and interests across the borders," she said.

With hotspots in Migingo Island, Moyale, Turkana and parts of Kajiado, the government said part of the proposal was to reach an agreement where local border communities are allowed relaxed movement with their animals as well as trade.

The East African Community has allowed free movement of people but there have been non-tariffs barriers by Tanzania and frequent arrests of Kenyan fishers on Migingo Island.

And although Ethiopia and Kenya have a similar arrangement on movement, border communities have carried out raids.

TECHNICAL PROCESS

But the key focus of the programme could be the long running Migingo Island dispute.

Dr Juma said the two countries would create a joint team which would demarcate the border between them, running for about 800 kilometres.

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