A few months ago it was Uganda. Kenya’s western neighbor sent troops and hoisted their flag on a Kenyan island on lake Victoria. The Kenyan government at first wavered, unable to provide a coherent response before it formed a joint task force with the invading Ugandans to determine the ownership of the island. It turned out the island is indeed Kenyan, only for the Ugandan president to claim that even if the island is Kenyan the waters and fish around it are Ugandan.
Now Southern Sudan is also in the mix. The Kenyan immigration minister, the man charged with the running of Kenya’s border posts was stopped from accessing one such post by Southern Sudanese security people – on Kenyan soil!! How ridiculous.
This insouciant approach to territorial matters is evident of the lack of a sense of nationhood in most African countries. These states only meaningfully exist withing a few hundred kilometres radii of the capitals. Since no one had to fight for the borders, no one really cares. But Kenya’s case is even more absurd. This is not Somalia or the Gambia. We should have better control of our people and our borders.
Ugandan authorities have occupied an Island that might be on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria. The Kenyan government has done nothing but ask for there to be talks on the status of the Island. Now, I am not a war-monger or anything but this is not the way to do things. The Kenyan Navy should be patrolling around the Island in a show of force even as the talks proceed. That President Museveni of Uganda has imperial ambitions is not a secret. He openly campaigns to be the first president of the to-be-formed East African Federation. This move on Migingo Island might be his idea of testing the waters to see how Kenya might respond to such moves.
I say we let the Ugandans know that even though we are not itching to go to war with them they cannot routinely occupy Kenyan territory without consequences – they have done this before in the north west of Kenya and even killed a few Kenyans with BOMBS! under the pretext of chasing cattle rustlers.
Migingo Island may be small, and even economically worthless but we should retain it nonetheless.
And speaking of disputed territories, when are we going to make it official that the Ilemi triangle is part of the Republic of Kenya? We have administered this part of south east Sudan forever and I think it is time we made it clear to the international community that it belongs to Kenya.