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Uganda deploys special forces to guard controversial island

In 2011, president Museveni said the waters surrounding the island belonged to Uganda as the island belonged to Kenya.

 

In a meeting with the press in Uganda’s capital Kampala, police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi said regular police have been withdrawn from the island, and immediately replaced by Special Forces Command (SFC) personnel, a section of who are attached to the presidential security details.

Kaweesi told journalists that President Museveni said the regular police have been targeted by corrupt illegal fishermen from Kenya, who have been trading in underage fish, as well as polluting Lake Victoria, against the law.

The Special Forces Command officers, in the Ugandan security ranking, are the personnel who provide security to the president and other state dignitaries, and are known for use of force without engaging in negotiations.

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A move by the military to guard the highly protracted Lake Victoria based Migingo Island, is a decision by Museveni, despite a recent row between Kenya and Uganda over the ownership of the island. Uganda moved to court seeking a solution.

Kaweesi has confirmed that already the Ugandan police have been withdrawn and the forces are now in control. The spokesman has also said the officers will now be guarding Ugandan waters and rivers, similar to her borders.

In 2011, president Museveni said the waters surrounding the island belonged to Uganda as the island belonged to Kenya.

President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta in April last year held talks over the disputed Migingo Island.

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The then Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Okello Oryem said the leaders would resolve the Migingo issue that is now a wedge between the two countries.

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