Raila asks Uhuru to stop talks over Migingo island

The opposition leader said the island was on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria.

Saturday March 19 2016

Cord leader Raila Odinga demonstrates how to tackle an enemy during a rally in Kisumu on March 17, 2016. Mr Odinga asked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to immediately pull out his soldiers from Migingo island. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Cord leader Raila Odinga demonstrates how to tackle an enemy, during a rally in Kisumu on March 17, 2016. Mr Odinga asked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to immediately pull out his soldiers from Migingo Island. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MOSES ODHIAMBO
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Coalition for Reform and Democracy leader Raila Odinga on Friday asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop further negotiations with Kampala over the ownership of Migingo Island.

Mr Odinga asked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to immediately pull out his soldiers from the tiny island. The opposition leader said the island was on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria.

“Enough is enough. Ugandan soldiers must now leave the island. They have nothing to do in Migingo. Let them come out at once,” Mr Odinga said.

He added that they suspect the island was being used to secure the support of President Museveni ahead of the 2017 elections.

“Mr Kenyatta thinks that he will seek the help of Mr Museveni to deploy his soldiers to intimidate the opposition after they rig the next elections. We will not accept such machinations against the sovereignty of Kenyans,” said Mr Odinga.

Speaking at Kisian Primary School grounds in Kisumu county, Mr Odinga said they will not sit back and do nothing even as the government remain mum on the issue.

The row over the island started in 2004 and was escalated in February 2009 when Kenyans living on the island were asked to purchase special permits from the Ugandan government.

He said the recently initiated negotiations on the ownership of the island were unnecessary as the boundaries had been drawn by the colonial administrators.

“The colonial regime said that anything to the east of Migingo is in Kenya. The map of Kenya has also confirmed that Migingo is in Kenya. There is no way we will negotiate with Uganda on this matter,” Mr Odinga said.

“We cannot agree for Museveni to deal with Kenyans the way we have seen him do for the past few weeks. If President Kenyatta cannot take back the island from our neighbours, let him leave office,” Mr Odinga said.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo told Jubilee to deploy the military to the island instead of keeping them in Somalia.

“Kenya military is not allowed under the law to deal with internal affairs like we saw in Malindi the other day during the by-election,” Mr Midiwo said.

“We cannot sit back as Nyanza leaders and watch Migingo being taken away. Let our military stop their dirty businesses in Somalia and secure the country from invasion by Uganda,” the legislator added.

He said that many Kenyans at the island were suffering yet the President is only watching from a distance.