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Ugandan forces arrest two Kenyans at Migingo

24 March 2014, 13:33 Oduor Omondi

Migingo - Anxiety is simmering yet again at the troubled Migingo Island after Ugandan security officers arrested two Kenyans over the weekend.

Irate Kenyan police officers and fishermen blamed Ugandans of harassment after two traders were arrested early Saturday morning for allegedly being in possession of bhang.

But Kenyans doing business in the island refuted claims by the Ugandan officials saying those were trumped up charges.

Last month, operations at the island stalled after Ugandan security officers impounded fish stock from fishermen estimated to be worth over KES 300 000.

“Kenyans see these as acts of aggression as the two traders were arrested and locked up by Ugandans. They were forced to record police statements through Ugandans who shouldn’t be charging them,” Charles Otieno, a fisherman said.

He said Ugandan forces, led by Sergeant Davis Besigye had arrested the male and female traders Saturday morning.

The arrests seem to contradict an agreement between the Kenyan and Ugandan governments which states that no security officers from either side can arrest a suspect from the other country without prior consultation.

The two forces always have a joint security meeting on Mondays on how to manage the island, a meeting which may not go on after Kenyan forces led by Joseph Ndiga refused to consult with Ugandans over the arrest.

An official of the fishermen who spoke to the media on condition of anonymity said that there is fear that the two Kenyans may be taken to Uganda.

The official said the Ugandan officer in charge of the island, Fred Wakadugi, has been away and his juniors have been creating unnecessary conflict at the island harassing Kenyans.

Nyatike Sub-County Commissioner James Namtalla said possession of bhang was illegal and that he will ensure the Kenyans are charged in the country upon ascertaining the charges leveled against them to be true.

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