Kenya: Ruto to End Kenya-Uganda Lake Victoria Dispute in Museveni Talks

Nairobi — President William Ruto has given his commitment to resolving the longstanding dispute between Kenya and Uganda concerning the detention of Kenyan fishermen in Uganda.

President Ruto gave the assurance on Saturday while addressing the residents of Homa Bay County during his second-day tour of the larger Nyanza region.

He disclosed that he is set to hold talks with his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, on October 10, 2023, in Uganda, and that addressing this issue will be at the top of their agenda.

During his tour of the region, Homa Bay Governor Gladys Governor had requested President Ruto’s intervention in the matter.

“I will be paying my elder brother a visit in Uganda and this is one of the issues that is lined up on the agenda. I want to give my assurances that I will put this matter to rest,” he said.

The Kenya-Uganda dispute revolves around fishing rights in Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa, which is a crucial resource for the neighboring communities, particularly for their fishing activities.

– Migingo Island –

This lake is shared by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, and the competition for its diminishing resources has fueled conflicts among these nations.

Over time, Kenyan fishermen have faced arrests and detentions in Uganda for fishing in areas that Uganda claims as its territorial waters.

At the heart of the dispute lies the contention over fishing rights and territorial boundaries within Lake Victoria.

Migingo Island, central to the dispute, has a predominantly Kenyan population, and tensions have escalated due to conflicting claims regarding the island’s ownership.

The situation has escalated over the years, with reports of shootings, arrests, and clashes involving the Fisheries Protection Unit, Kenya Coast Guards, and security teams from both countries.

These incidents have resulted in casualties and heightened tensions between the two nations.

Efforts have been made to address the Kenya-Uganda fishing dispute and curb illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in the region.

Security teams from Kenya and Uganda have several times engaged in discussions to resolve the impasse and seek a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflicts.

However, despite these efforts, the issue remains unresolved, and tensions persist.

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