Uganda and Kenya have agreed to operationalize the memorandum of understanding signed between President Museveni and former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Karamoja.
In September 2019, Museveni and Kenyatta signed the MoU on cross-border trade and development. The agreement has not been implemented due to covid-19 outbreak and changes in the political offices.
On Tuesday, Gen Salim Saleh accompanied by Minister for Security Major Gen Jim Muhwezi met with the Kenyan delegation led by Rebecca Miano the secretary for East African Community in a closed-door meeting to address critical issues on bilateral peace and cooperation.
The two countries agreed to operationalize Kenya-Uganda MoU, by the establishment of a Joint Technical Steering Committee, which will come up with funding and resource mobilization strategies as provided for under Article 4 of the MoU.
Rebecca Miano, the Cabinet Secretary for East Africa Community (EAC), Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Development said they wish to reiterate the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries.
Miano observed that the people along the border have enjoyed free movement and the growth of cross-border trade between Uganda and Kenya.
Muhwezi noted that there is a need to strengthen partnerships and fight criminality together to deter wrong elements from destabilizing peace. He said that they will continue protecting the livestock of the two communities of Karamojong in Uganda and Turkana in Kenya.
Dr. John Erus, the Deputy Governor of Turkana County made an appeal to President Yoweri Museveni to pardon the nine Turkana herders incarcerated. He said that the Kenyan government is committed to collaborating with the Ugandan government to ensure that the criminals involved in the killing last year of the geologists are arrested and prosecuted.
He said their resolutions will enhance coordination, and communication mechanisms improved cross-border infrastructure, and enhance security and disarmament.
The leaders committed to collaborating to curtail the spill-over of illicit arms from Kenya to Uganda due to the ongoing disarmament in Kenya, and ensure the guarantee of rights to fair administrative actions, and legal representation in cases involving the penal codes.
Remigio Achia, the Chairperson Karamoja Parliamentary Group said that there is a need for the two countries to strengthen the One-Health program and joint livestock disease control through vaccination.
Achia said many Turkana pastoralists have flocked into the Karamoja and this is causing pressure on social services, especially health, and education.
Currently, Uganda is hosting over 30,000 Turkana pastoralists who are grazing and watering their animals in the different parts of the Karamoja sub-region.