AG asks court to let Kenya, Uganda resolve Migingo row

Attorney-General Githu Muigai. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Attorney-General Githu Muigai. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Attorney-General Githu Muigai has requested the High Court to leave resolution of Migingo Island ownership dispute to the two neighbouring countries.

Tension on the disputed island prompted more than 1,000 Kenyan traders and fishermen to resort to legal action to have the Ugandan soldiers forced out. Kenya and Uganda both claimed ownership of the island on Lake Victoria.

The AG said in court papers the parliamentary Defence, and Foreign Affairs Committee had proposed a joint survey based on colonial maps to determine the ownership of the Island.

“It is, therefore, important to state that the petitioners request that the Cabinet secretaries for Defence, and Interior, should make a joint report of the survey of the disputed Island, cannot be actualised, since a report cannot be made and released on a process that is yet to be completed,” said Prof Githu.

He said the joint survey was met with some differences in opinion on some technical issues, delaying erection of boundary pillars. He said the joint survey would resume at a later date.

The suit filed by Dan Durell Alila on behalf of the 1,008 petitioners, accused Ugandan security personnel based at the island of harassing Kenyans.

“All this has been happening while the Kenyan security agencies have elected to remain inactive, passive and unconcerned.

“The said unlawful and oppressive activities have been in force since 2004 with devastating economic impact on the lives of the marginalised complainants and the public,” said Dr Alila in court papers.

The case will be heard Tuesday.