Counties

Fishing resumes on disputed Migingo Island

Fishermen prepare their nets after a fishing expedition at the controversial Migingo island in Lake Victoria. FILE PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | NMG
Fishermen prepare their nets after a fishing expedition at the controversial Migingo island in Lake Victoria. FILE PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | NMG  

Fishing on the disputed Migingo Island on Lake Victoria has resumed after months of an uneasy relationship between Kenyans and Ugandans living on the island.

Kenyan fishermen have been at loggerheads with Ugandan security personnel on the island.

“This is a temporary reprieve…it may not take long before they (Ugandans) resume harassing and intimidating us.

We will only be happy the day they will be removed altogether from this island,” said Victor Obonyo, a fisherman based on the island.

The fishermen had accused the Ugandan authorities of arresting them and seizing fish for reportedly failing to pay cross-border fishing levies.

“The ownership dispute over this island has dragged on since 2004 and it is high time that both the Kenyan and Ugandan authorities resolved this matter,” said another fisherman, Julius Owiti.

Early this year, the Uganda brought in new Uganda People’s Defence Force officers who said their mission was to “secure” the rocky island.

“Our brief is very clear and it does not entail harassing or intimidating anybody,” said an officer who requested to remain anonymous.