News Analysis By Leo odera Omolo In Kisumu City
Kenya and Uganda governments have agreed to a mutual deal that when fully implemented will make it much easier to the citizens of the two countries have an easy access to border crossings, instead of the cumbersome going through tough immigration scrutinizes.
The agreement came at the conclusion of a week long consultative meeting held in Kisumu City. The meeting held at the posh Sun-Set Hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria.
It will facilitate free movement of labor between the two countries. IN the new deal those nationals of the two neighboring nations moving to either for a period of six months will only be required to produce their national identity cards. This will apply to Kenyans crossing into Uganda while Ugandans travelling to Kenya will use heir voting cards as the official documents.
The Ugandan delegation headed by a r Mohamed Sadique arrived here last Monday during which time the two delegations deliberated on various contentious issues affecting the two countries. The two teams revived reviewed issues such as reviving the question of Migingo island in Lake Victoria, which has been the sources of endless political wrangling between the two nations for the last eight years.
The Kenya delegation was headed by James Ole SeriAN who is the Regional Co-coordinator Commissioner for Western Province. It asked the joint border survey committee which was established Five years ago to urgently embark on the review process to end the stalement. It became clear at the end of the discussions that the two countries wants Migingio ISLAND border survey reviewed quickly and the dispute between the two countries sorted out amicably and diplomatically. The same dispute has remained a thorny issue for the last eight years at times threatening he peaceful co-existence of the two countries.
Mr Ole Serian the head of the Kenya delegation had told the gathering that the long territorial spat over the disputed Migingo Island in Lake Victoria will soon be resolved in a peaceful manner. His counter part Mr Sadique said that the to countries have enjoyed cordial and warm relationship anf therefore needed to resolved all the outstanding issues harmoniously.
The joint survey team was established by the two nations in 2009 and undertook the joint inspection of the international boundaries in the region, But its work had stalled despite the two countries having made available the sums of Kshs 240 million in which each contributed half of the amount of. During another KENYA-Uganda Ministerial COUNCIL held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi in 2011 it was agreed that the joint survey team would complete its work and come up with practical modalities to conclude the survey and demarcation of the common boundaries in Lake Victoria.
The initiatives, however, stalled due to what Mr Ole termed as failure to bring on board the stakeholders. NINTH KENYA-UGANDA JOINT BORDER TECHNICAL COMMISSION does bring on board all the stakeholders, and, that exercise among the many issues surrounding the true ownership of Migingo Island. Which were supposed to have been addressed adequately and sufficiently.