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Museveni meets Kenyan press over Migingo

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th May 2009 03:00 AM

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni on Friday morning told the Kenyan press that he did not abuse the Jaluo as a community when he commented on the Migingo Island dispute at the University of Dar es Salaam on Monday.

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni on Friday morning told the Kenyan press that he did not abuse the Jaluo as a community when he commented on the Migingo Island dispute at the University of Dar es Salaam on Monday.

BY HENRY MUKASA

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni on Friday morning told the Kenyan press that he did not abuse the Jaluo as a community when he commented on the Migingo Island dispute at the University of Dar es Salaam on Monday.

He clarified that when the talked of ‘mad Jaluos’ he was referring to the youth in Kibera, Nairobi who uprooted the railway line.

By disrupting trade to Uganda, the youth were protesting what they called Uganda’s continued occupation of the island, which they consider part of Kenya.

“What was wrong with the language? I used the word Jaluo, is that an insult? If you called me a Munyankole, I will not feel bad. The mad ones I talked about are the Jaluos who uprooted the railway. Is that good?” Museveni asked.

Addressing about 15 Kenyan journalists who flew in for the press briefing at the VIP lounge of Old Entebbe airport, the President said he was disappointed that some leaders were making sensational statements about the issue.

“We are committed ideologically to the East African Community. Therefore, I am surprised to see some leaders making sensational statements,” he noted.

“Sensationalism is not the way to do things. I am also disappointed by some actors.

“The way they talk is like they are working for some enemies who don’t want the East African Federation.”

A number of Kenyan parliamentarians on Wednesday accused Museveni of expansionism and urged their president to protect the country’s borders using all means necessary, including the mobilisation of the armed forces.

Kenyan MPs from the region around Migingo had also demanded an apology, saying Museveni had insulted the Luo.

“There is a minister in Kenya called Orengo. He called us hyenas”, Museveni said. “Let those who said that first apologise to us. I don’t see any problem in what I said. If they think it is wrong, I will think about it.”

He rejected a proposal from Kenyan politicians to refer the border dispute to the United Nations, saying it would be a vote of no confidence in the regional leaders.

Asked about the deployment of Ugandans troops in Western Pokot and Turkana, he said it was a joint operation with Kenya’s security organs against cattle rustlers.

“Uganda cannot expand into Kenya and Kenya cannot expand into Uganda because the borders are marked.”

He also clarified he was not talking about Migingo when he said the island was in Kenya and the water in Uganda.

He said he was talking about other islands such as Pyramid, Sambu and Mageta, saying that if Uganda was to implement the border demarcation strictly, Kenyans on those islands would not be able to fish in Ugandan waters.

On why Uganda’s flag continued to fly on Migingo after the row had erupted, he said when there is a dispute, usually the status quo is maintains.

“When Mzee Kibaki talked to me, he asked us to remove the flag.”

The President repeated that the issue will be sorted out by the verification exercise of the technical experts, who will be guided by the 1926 Order in Council.

“Some people said we bring in the army. This is a survey problem. The army are not surveyors.”

Museveni meets Kenyan press over Migingo

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