Siaya Senator James Orengo has called on Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta to take a bold step by referring the diplomatic tussle between Kenya and Uganda over Migingo Island to the Netherlands based International Criminal Court (ICC).
Speaking during Fundraising functions at Pee Hills Secondary School in Migori on Saturday, Orengo said several Kenyans have been harassed by Ugandan officials.
Orengo said the behavior of Uganda against Kenyans is unacceptable by claiming to own Migingo island even though it is part of Kenya.
“The question of the Island called Migingo which is in the territory of Kenya is undisputed as part of Kenya. That issues should be resolved and I am advising President Uhuru Kenyatta that the matter should be taken to the ICC,” said Orengo.
Last year in September, Uganda authority forcefully lowered Kenyan flag on the island and arrested several Kenyan fishermen and confiscating their boats.
Although Kenyan security organs downplayed the situation, residents and fishermen who have been perpetually harassed by Ugandan police said their businesses have been shut down. Last month during Uganda President Yoweri Museveni’s visit to the country, Uhuru announced that the two countries were working together to solve the dispute.
“Lake Victoria is an important transboundary resource that has continued to support the livelihoods of our people, not just in Kenya and Uganda but the entire East African region,” President Kenyatta said then.
Orengo said several lawyers including himself are ready to offer free legal service should Uhuru agree to take take the matter to ICC.
But leaders from the region are unimpressed with the slow progress in resolving the dispute as fishermen continue to complain of constant harassment by Ugandan officials. On Saturday, Orengo claimed that the ICC is now vital in resolving the boundary dispute.
“I am ready to represent Kenya and the people of Migori for free at The Hague. If we go there, we will ask Museveni since when did Migingo become part of Uganda,” he said.