Gunfire rocked Migingo Island in Namayingo district on Saturday as Kenya and Uganda police opened to fire to stop clashes between rival fishermen from both countries. It all started after Uganda police impounded to two boat engines believed to belong to Uganda fishermen.
However, Kenyan fishermen from Nyatike Migori district in Western Kenya arrived in three boats and attempted to block Uganda police from taking the 75 horse power engine boats claiming that they belongs to Kenyan pirates near Migongo island.
Ugandan fishermen wouldn’t have any of this leading to clashes with their Ugandan counterparts. As a result, both Uganda and Kenya police personnel opened fire to calm down the situation. Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka, the Namayingo Resident District Commissioner told URN that he had dispatched a team of officials including Benson Kiconco, the Namayingo District Police Commander to find ways of resolving the problem.
According to Hashaki, Uganda police had wanted to verify the ownership of the disputed boats before handing them back to their respective owners before the clash started. He said over 7 boat engines are stolen by suspected Kenyan pirates on a weekly basis. Hashaka warned of looming violence on the tiny rocky island, which is also a dispute between Uganda and Kenya.Peter Kigozi, the proprietor of Night life bar and lodge on Migingo Island says they are living in fear of being attacked by the Kenyans.
Kigozi asks the leadership of both countries to help resolve the conflict to ensure peace amongst residents on the island. John Namutaala, the commissioner Nyatike Migori district while speaking on phone expressed concern over the heavy deployment of Ugandan personnel on the island. He said while Kenya had deployed a small number of police men on the island their Ugandan counterparts had set up a big number of security personnel with heavy machinery.
He said it appears Uganda is preparing for war with Kenyan by deploying a huge number of cops with sophisticated weapons. Uganda and Kenya deployed on the island following an agreement between the two countries.