- Kenyan legislators have given President Mwai Kibaki a go-head to deploy the military in the contested Migingo islands in the Lake Victoria in case diplomacy fails. This is despite the Ugandan government having vowed to solve the disputed island with diplomacy.
The Members of Parliament passed a motion yesterday approving the deployment of military in the contested island, saying the Ugandan government was dragging its feet to resolve the land squabble.
However the Ugandan government has described the motion as a joke insisting the row is a small issue that does not warrant military deployment.
Local media reported the Uganda Media Center boss, Fred Opolot saying: “We are not taking this motion seriously because these were just few MPs who take the advantage of the absence of other MPs to pass this unfortunate motion.”
Earlier this month, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni sparked fury among legislators when he said the disputed Migingo islands currently under Uganda control belonged to Kenya but the water around the Island was Ugandan.
The MP’s said the comments made by President Museveni were an insult and derogatory to the Kenyan government and its people.
Uganda believes that the passing of the motion does not define general consensus of Kenyan parliament, saying there were few legislators in parliament who took advantage of the situation.
The Motion also urged President Kibaki, as the Commander in Chief to use all resources at his disposal to reclaim the Kenyan land.
Kenya and Uganda have been in a bitter spat over the ownership of one of the smallest of the Migingo islands which Uganda has laid a claim on since 2008 though it is closer to the Kenyan borders.
Uganda has occupied the island since 2004 but Kenya maintains that it is on its side of the border. Tensions began to rise when Ugandan security began charging Kenyans residency fees on the island.
Waters around Migingo are rich in fish, whereas other parts of Lake Victoria have been decimated by over-exploitation.
Earlier this month, the two East African nations began a joint survey to verify ownership of the Migingos in the Lake Victoria. The exercise was due to last two months, with both countries' experts to consult the colonial demarcations.
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