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Ugandans lower Kenyan flag in disputed island

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By ELISHA OTIENO
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Ugandan security forces have rejected an attempt by Kenyan authorities to raise a flag on the disputed Migingo Island, in the latest incident that could indicate that the long-drawn conflict is far from over.

The Ugandans pulled down a Kenyan flag that had been hoisted on the fishing island in Lake Victoria, despite an initial agreement for joint policing of the one-acre piece of rock surrounded by fish-rich water.

“They pulled down the flag and warned the Kenyan police deployed on the island against making such attempts again,” said Migingo beach management unit chairman, Mr John Obunge. Although the island is being co-manned by Kenyan and Ugandan security forces, only the Ugandan flag is allowed to fly.

To avoid a potential clash, the Kenyan security forces backed down after the aggressive Ugandan officers pulled down the flag and removed the post. But Kenyan fishermen taunted the Ugandans for disrespecting the Kenyan flag.

Border Migori County police commandant Mr Joseph Nthenge described the situation as calm soon after the incident. “The flag was hoisted by other civil servants and not the police,” he said. Mr Obunge and other fishermen, however, disputed this saying that it was the police who put up the flag.

“Our officers argued that the flag must always be hoisted at a police post but the Ugandans would not listen to them,” said the beach boss.

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The Ugandan contingent on the island is larger in size than the Kenyan one. Last week, an MP accused the Kenyan government of continuously paying lip service to the Migingo ownership row.

He said the dispute pitting Kenya and Uganda has dragged on since 2004 yet the government “appears not interested in resolving this matter permanently”.

“It is sad that arbitrary arrests and intimidation continues to be visited upon Kenyan fishermen in Lake Victoria despite persistent calls from leaders to have the matter resolved,” said the Nyatike MP Tom Odege.

He noted that former President Mwai Kibaki failed to conclude the matter and “it appears President Uhuru Kenyatta may also exit office in 2022 without putting this dispute to rest”.

“The Ugandan security forces continue to arrest our people who are doing business on the island. President Kenyatta must revisit this matter with his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni because he swore to protect all the Kenyan boundaries in his capacity as the commander-in-chief,” said Mr Odege.

Senate Minority Leader James Orengo said the Migingo row should be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for arbitration. The Siaya Senator said all colonial maps showed that the island belonged to Kenya.

“The dispute has become an embarrassment to us and we must resolve it now using the goodwill created by the handshake between our two top leaders,” noted Mr Orengo. He said the international court has in the past handled territorial disputes of similar nature between other countries.

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Is Orengo charting his path away from Raila?

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History of intense rivalry between him and Opposition leader, alleged sabotage in 2013 and 2017 elections and talk of betrayal ahead of 2022.

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Police Deploy Chopper to Rescue Students Lost in Forest for 4 Days –

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Three students who went missing after a forest adventure in Mt Kenya, Karatina, Nyeri County, were finally rescued on Saturday after four days in the jungle.

Four days without food, the boys told members of the press that they survived by the grace of God.

17-year-old Anthony Muhoro, Jackson Karuri, 17, and David Mukoma Kinyua, 20, went missing on May 4.

Muhoro is a Form Three student at Gitunduti Secondary School, Karuri is also a Form Three but at Ihwagi Secondary School while Kinyua is a student at Nyeri National Polytechnic.

Also found alive were two dogs that were in the company of the three when they were reported missing.

Read: Missing Businesswoman Caroline Wanjiku Maina’s Body Found In A Kajiado Mortuary

The rescue team comprised of police officers who after four days of futile search deployed a National Police Service chopper to locate the students who were on the verge of despair.

In the Saturday search, the Nation reports, the officers teamed up with Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service rangers to comb the forest in search of the students.

In an interview with the local publication, Muhoro revealed that they were hiking when they lost their way back home.

“It was by the grace of God that we survived for four days without food and other necessities. We thought we were going to die and kept praying,” Muhoro said in a phone interview.

Read Also: Missing Thika Millionare Julius Gitau Found Alive – Police

“We literally groped in the dark after losing our way back home. We survived on water and wild fruits since we had not carried any food.”

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According to the student, the trio entered the forest through Ragati gate but couldn’t trace their way home hours later.

“We found ourselves deep into the dense woods. I don’t know how far it was from the edges of the forest but we were exhausted,” he said.

“We could not even tell the time since it was constantly dark. That is when panic set in.”

They could not communicate with anyone back at home as their mobile phones lost signals.

Read Also: Son To Murdered Kiambaa Family Reported Missing

“We started moving in the forest, literary going in circles in a desperate attempt to find our way out,” Muhoro said.

Days later as they moved around the forest with the hope of finding an exit, they ‘miraculously’ met some police officers and forest rangers who alerted the rest of the search team.

Mathira East Police Commander James Baraza, who led the operation, said the trio’s disappearance was reported at Karatina Police Station the same day they went missing and a search operation launched immediately.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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Police in hot pursuit of gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident – KBC

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The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

Kiambu based detectives are pursuing a dangerous and armed criminal gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident on Friday, before disappearing with his Toyota Premio as he drove to his residence.

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According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI), the victim had pulled over by the apartment’s gate at Ruaka One River Apartments, unaware that a gang of three assailants was laying in wait for him.

As the gates opened, the driver’s window was suddenly smashed with an iron rod, before two shots were fired in the air from a pistol in an attempt to subdue him.

However, he managed to force his way into the parking lot, but before he could jump out of the car and scamper to safety, the trio caught up with him and roughed him up before grabbing his car keys and phone.

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On receiving the report, DCI detectives based at Kiambaa launched a manhunt for the suspects.

The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

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Its rear and front headlights, side mirrors, all tyres, nose guard, boot and radio had been stolen.

Detectives believe that the three suspects are part of a larger criminal syndicate operating within Kiambu County.

They have been targeting taxi drivers while posing as customers, only to turn against them at isolated places, then vandalize their vehicles.

” Some members of the syndicate have previously been arrested and arraigned in court.” Said the DCI

The DCI has cautioned Kenyans on this trend of crime.

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