Kenyan police arrested by Ugandan authorities released

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Three Kenya administration police officers who were arrested by Ugandan police Monday on allegation of trespassing along the shores of Lake Victoria have been released.

The three were released following the intervention of Siaya county commissioner Jacob Narengo. However, six fishermen are still being held by Ugandan authorities.

It was the latest in a boundary spat between Kenya and her neighbor Uganda and which had threatened to rekindle a bitter row for the two east African nations.

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Narengo says a meeting has been convened for Tuesday between authorities from neighboring countries to discuss and craft an amicable solution to the persistent Kenyan fishermen harassment by Ugandan authorities.

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Uganda area district commissioner Hussein Matanda says the arrest was routine, but urged Kenyan fishermen to observe the law to avoid unnecessary friction.

The arrest of the police officers became a subject of discussion on social media with Kenyans accusing Uganda of taking Kenya for granted.

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Migingo Island

This is not the first time a dispute has occurred between the countries over the Lake Victoria waters. A row has been simmering between Kenya and Uganda over the rocky Migingo Island in Lake Victoria for some years now.

In 2008, the dispute over the island came into the limelight following the eviction of some 400 Kenyan fishermen who reportedly refused to part with a Ksh50,000  “annual operation fee” that was being demanded by the Ugandan authorities.

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Before long, the Ugandan authorities were at it again, as 15 fishermen from the neighbouring Muhuru and Karungu beaches were arrested by the country’s marine police.

They were later freed after the intervention of a high-powered Kenya delegation that travelled to Uganda.

Diplomatic activity has been going on between the two countries in a bid to resolve the dispute.

 

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