The dispute between Kenya and Uganda over Migingo Island threatens regional stability and peace. While the Kenyan President and the Chief of General Staff have assumed a diplomatic stance treating the affair as "a non issue" Uganda has adopted a militaristic/antagonistic viewpoint by first and foremost ejecting the Kenyan Administration Police who were resident at Migingo island , hoisting their flag, replacing their normal police with a military unit, impossing a curfew on the island mainly inhabited by Kenyan Citizens, imposing a fishing revenue tax on the Kenyan fishermen and arbitrarily arresting Kenyan citizens on the island. All these activities constitute hostilities and a 'state of aggresion' under the U.N Charter and all known international laws and norms.
Now the Kenyan Parliament and Public have enjoined themselves on the issue perceiving the Head of State and Commander in Chief as too weak to adequately address the issue. Residents of Kibera yesterday tore a section of the Kenya -Uganda railway in protest against the usurpation of Migingo Island a move that has been perceived as 'undermining of Kenya's territorial sovereignty' ! A section of Kenya's Members of Parliament have threatened to pass a motion coercing Kenya's military forces to react to this "apparent threat" to national security.
Listening to todays Classic 105 radio station moning talk show .....most of the callers felt that Kenya's military force should be deployed on the island and Kenya's borders as this is not the first time that Uganda has laid claim to Kenya's territory. The issue is being viewed as a matter of perception...i.e is Kenya culpable and or susceptible in the face of foreign aggresion or invasion and or does Kenya lack capacity to adequately defend its borders ? That question should bother the guys at Department of Defence and our military intelligensia.Well at a Nairobians perspective we view peace to a trillion times better than war but peace itself often comes at a price!What will be Kenya's price?
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Kenya's diplomatic stance has rather been shambled when Kenya's Government spokesman recently announced that the two Countries would hold a joint media briefing only for his Ugandan Counterpart to rebut the same firmly declaring that Migingo belongs to Uganda.Interestingly the island is barely an acre in size but the conduct of the parties clearly threatens regional peace and may lead to undue confrontation!(see Daily Monitor Article of 14th April, 2009)
Interestingly the dispute has actually generated a wikipedia stub....click here
I just watched the joint media briefing being aired live on national tv and its full of bare denials against what has already been covered in the media ,facts on ground and prior press releases and statements.....such a shame!