SIAYA (Xinhua) --
Kenyan Juma Okoth has in the last two
weeks struggled to put food on the table thanks to seizure of
his fishing gear by Ugandan soldiers over boundary disputes.
The middle-aged fisherman who is based in the expansive Nambo
beach in Western Kenyan county of Siaya was in pensive mood on
Thursday after Ugandan soldiers carted away his tools of trade
hence worsening his penury.
"It has become a nightmare to put food on the table since
fishing was disrupted by the seizure of my equipment by Ugandan
soldiers," the father of five told Xinhua on Thursday.
He decried suffering that affected his emotional well-being
since the Ugandan soldiers forcibly took away his fishing gear
and those of his peers.
"Fishing is the only source of income and taking away our
equipment has denied our source of livelihood." Okoth remarked.
Nevertheless, it was a sigh of relief for Okoth and his
colleagues following a successful meeting between officials from
Kenya and Uganda to sort out the border dispute in Lake
Ugandan security agents on June 27 agreed to unconditionally
release boats and fishing gear belonging to Kenyan fishermen.
During a meeting held in the border town of Busia attended by
officials from the two countries, it was resolved that fishermen
from the two countries register their boats for easy
The security officials agreed to conduct a joint patrol in
Lake Victoria to ensure the fishermen respect international
"We have agreed on the need to conduct joint security patrols
to ensure those carrying out the fishing activities respect
international boundaries and fishermen from the two countries
have to register their boats for easy identification," said
Jacob Narengo, the Busia County Commissioner.
The meeting took place in the wake of tension at the border
over the harassment and arrest of Kenyan fishermen and police
officers by Ugandan soldiers for trespassing on the country’s
Tensions had built up along the border after 12 Kenyan
fishermen were arrested by Ugandan soldiers seen in retaliation
after Nairobi secured the release of three police officers who
had been seized by Ugandan soldiers last week.
There is fear of fresh wave of arrest as Kenyan leaders
accused the state of ignoring their demand to address the
ownership dispute of Migingo Island in Lake Victoria.
Okoth who welcomed the release of the boats and fishing gear
appealed to Ugandan and Kenyan top leadership to end the border
dispute that has affected his income.
"The frequent intrusion and arrests is affecting our main
source of income.
"We want the two states to resolve the border dispute and
urge Ugandan soldiers to refrain from interfering with our main
source of income," said Okoth.
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