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Kenya and Uganda to Resolve lake Victoria Fishing Row

The Kenyan Government through the office of Migori County Commissioner and Migori County Government are set to have Cross Border Meeting with Ugandan authorities over safe fishing in Lake Victoria early February.

Reported fishing disputes between Kenya and Uganda at Migingo Island is expected to dominate the talks.

The meeting which was scheduled in December last year was postponed after Ugandan Authorities asked for more time to prepare.

Suna East County Commissioner Denis Mutiso who represented county commissioner said the Ugandans asked for more time to look into the communiqué which invited them to the meeting.

Mutiso was speaking on Wednesday during a cross border meeting at Migori County Citizen Centre Hall,

Mutiso said the Kenyan Government was keen to fully engage Uganda and Tanzania while addressing challenges facing Kenyan fishermen at Lake Victoria.

The DCC noted the challenges raised by Beach Management Units at Sori and Muhuru saying it was an opportunity to look into the issues and get their solutions.

Beach Management Units officials at Sori and Muhuru have reportedly raised complaints of continued harassment by the Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities on Lake Victoria.

In a move seen as looking at the matter keenly, Kenyan Government has decided to engage first the Ugandan Authorities over fishing dispute within Lake Victoria before inviting Tanzanian Authorities.

The existing unique differences for instance about who owns Migingo Island between Kenya and Uganda remains thorny.

Mutiso however revealed of the planned meeting which will bring together the three East African countries representatives and is expected to address common cross border challenges.

Addressing the same meeting, Migori County Government Chief officer in charge of Trade and Tourism Ms. Sheila Mwita faulted the Tanzania authorities for harassing Kenyans whenever they cross their border.

Mwita wants the two countries to have common rules which govern movement of people at the border which does not hurt trade and free movement of the citizens of the two countries.

The meeting brought together relevant stakeholders from both National Government security officials and the County Government of Migori representatives.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i last year promised to end fishing disputes around Migingo Island and these cross –border meetings is seen as part of the government efforts to address border conflicts.

By Geoffrey Satia

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