Posted Tuesday, August 16 2011
Ugandans living on the Migingo Islands are in panic following a heavy deployment of Kenyan administration officers near a contested island.
Ugandans told Daily Monitor that Kenya sent over 50 officers yesterday to the island but they were blocked from docking on Migingo Islands by Uganda Police officers. They have no stationed at Ugingo Island.
Mr Gerald Kamya, a Beach Management Unit officer, said the deployed has left them in fear since their Kenya fishers on the islands are organising themselves to take over. “The events are worrying us. Before the deployment, Kenyan authorities took fishers from the islands and chose BMUs among them yet we had earlier agreed to have a joint unit,” Mr Kamya said.
Kenya’s Nyatike District Commissioner, Allan Machari confirmed the deployment of their officers to Kenyan media saying that it is part of the agreement of the two countries.
Migingo and Ugingo islands are located in Lake Victoria at the border of the three East African countries. Kenya and Uganda are claiming ownership of the two islands but Uganda insists owns one. Both countries have agreed to have a joint survey to establish the country the island lays.
Mr Kamya said Kenyans on the island have purchased Kenya national flag and that of police which they say will rise the moment their officers take control.
Uganda Police Force has also reportedly beefed up security in the area but the Uganda Police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba couldn’t confirm the strength in the deployment.
Recently Uganda government sent the head of Mobile Police Patrol Unit Commissioner, Geoffrey Obache and rofessional Standards Unit Senior Superintendent of Police, Samuel Ekoliot to the contested islands give tactical guidance to the officers deployed there.