(Kenyan army and Navy seen heading to bases near the lake. Additional information by a source).
By Daily Nation-Talks on Lake Victoria border row set up
By ELISHA OTIENO and PMPS Posted Sunday, January 18 2009 at 19:10
The Government is in talks with Uganda to solve a boundary row involving some islands in Lake Victoria.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Ugandan officials had agreed to a proposal to form a joint committee to freshly demarcate the contentious border in the lake.
“I have held talks with President Yoweri Museveni over the disputed islands in Lake Victoria and we expect Ugandan authorities to send a team to join the Kenyan delegation and resolve the row,” he said.
However, the PM said preliminary findings indicated that the islands were on Kenyan soil but urged fishermen to be patient as the committee finalised its task.
He told those present at a thanksgiving party of Nyatike MP Edick Omondi Anyanga at the weekend that the subcommittee on Defence had been mandated to lead negotiations with their Ugandan counterparts.
“The 1962 map is clear but for the purpose of good relations with our neighbours we have sent ministers Moses Wetangula, George Saitoti, James Orengo and Yusuf Haji to meet the team from Uganda to iron out the row,” the PM said.
Fishermen have complained of continuous harassment by Uganda’s security officers in the lake over the border dispute.
But Mr Odinga warned that the fishermen had been pushed to the limit by the security forces from the neighbouring country and “we will not accept to be pushed further”.
“We are aware of other Kenyan islands in the lake that were seized by Uganda during the reign of Idi Amin,” he added. He named Sigulu, Lolwe, Remba, Oyasi and Ringiti as some of the islands.
Speaking elsewhere, Mr Odinga said the corruption scandals will not kill the Grand Coalition’s spirit. He said ODM was less than a year in government and some of the graft cases started before they joined.
However, the PM said the Grand Coalition would remain intact despite the corruption cases. “No one should think that the Grand Coalition is dead because we are still less than a year old since formation,” he warned.