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Uganda-Kenya surveyors meeting to resolve Migingo crisis
afrol News, 23 April - The Ugandan and Kenyan surveyors are meeting early May for the border survey and remarking of the disputed Migingo Island located in Victoria Lake. The border demarcation is expected to unravel a bitter row between the two East African neighbours.
According to a communiqué from the Uganda government, a team of experts in London will get the colonial maps to be used in surveying the border. The statement also said Uganda will continue to administer the island until the remarking of the border is complete.
On Wednesday, the Uganda national broadcaster reported president Yoweri Museveni saying in his statement that the island is located in Kenya but its western shore is in Uganda, a statement according to local analyst that could mark the end of a tussle between the East African neighbours.
Uganda has occupied the island since 2004 but Kenya maintains that it is on its side of the border.
Earlier this month, the Ugandan forces detained Kenyan fisherman from the disputed Island, a move that angered local fisherman who survive on fisheries from the great lake. The arrest came despite a joint statement by presidents Mwai Kibaki and Museveni signed between the two countries in March to resolve the Island row.
A number of Kenyan lawmakers have called upon the Kenyan government to impose a trade embargo on Uganda for "annexing" the island. The landlocked Uganda relies on the Kenyan port of Mombasa for nearly all of its imports and exports.
Meanwhile, the Rwanda president, Paul Kagame, the new chair of the East African Community has offered to intervene in the Migingo dispute.
Mr Kagame said the contest over ownership of the half-acre island has not reached the boiling point, saying he would consult the Kenyan authorities in an effort to resolve the current impasse.
Analysts have said the tensions over Migingo Island, covered in tin shacks used mainly by fishermen, have threatened relations between the key trading partners and are a reminder of many disputes over colonial-era borders across Africa.
Waters around Migingo are rich in fish, whereas other parts of Lake Victoria have been decimated by over-exploitation.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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