Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders including Senator James Orengo have stepped up calls for a row between Kenya and Uganda over Migingo Island to be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
As a diplomatic battle over within whose territory the island lies rages on, Orengo announced plans to lobby opposition politicians to push for the government to refer the matter to the ICJ.
“Cameroon and Nigeria once had a border dispute and they moved to the ICJ and it was resolved. We have evidence that Migingo belongs to Kenya and only this court can resolve the matter,” he stated in Migori.
In a conversation with Kenyans.co.ke on Thursday, ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna echoed Orengo’s sentiments stating that ICJ was possibly the only viable avenue to end the dispute.
“It’s what makes sense in the circumstances. It might be the only way to end this row once and for all,” he wrote.
Orengo had lamented that the row was getting out of hand as Kenyan fishermen were harassed by Ugandan soldiers.
While Kenya lays claim to the island, Uganda has its flag hoisted on the island as well as police and military officers permanently stationed there.
Towards the end of June, Ugandan officials forcibly closed the only Kenyan kindergarten on the island further escalating tensions.
The preschool had just been established following collaboration between the office of the Migingo sub-location assistant chief and area residents.
“This school was set up to serve the children of the locals here but unfortunately the Ugandan officials closed it down today claiming that it is a way of Kenya asserting her ownership of the disputed island,” stated the Assistant Chief Esther Masaku.