Moroto, 20th February 2023 (Governor’s Press Service)- Kenya and Uganda leaders today convened a Joint High-Level Security Mission to address critical issues on bilateral peace and cooperation.
The meeting held in Moroto, Uganda was chaired by Uganda’s Senior Presidential Advisor on Defence, Gen Salim Saleh, and the Kenyan delegation was led by Cabinet Secretary for East Africa Community (EAC), Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Development Rebecca Miano.
Deputy Governor Dr John Erus led a team from Turkana County who were part of the Kenyan delegation.
The mission discussed the release of nine Turkana herders from a Ugandan prison, the review and implementation of the joint MOU between Kenya and Uganda, enhanced coordination and communication mechanisms, improved cross-border infrastructure, and enhanced security and disarmament.
Following the discussions, the joint mission agreed on several resolutions, including an appeal to President Yoweri Museveni to pardon the nine Turkana herders incarcerated, a commitment by the Kenyan government to collaborate with the Ugandan government to ensure that the criminals involved in the killing last year of the geologists are arrested and prosecuted.
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.
The leaders committed to collaborating to curtail the spill-over of illicit arms from Kenya to Uganda due to ongoing disarmament in Kenya; and ensure the guarantee of rights to fair administrative actions, and legal representation in cases involving the penal codes.
DG Erus expressed the commitment of the County Government to support the peace efforts of the national governments of Kenya and Uganda. He requested the release of the nine Turkana residents who were convicted through a court martial and imprisoned in Uganda and made an appeal for their release.
The DG also asked for reciprocity in return for livestock stolen from both sides.
He also spoke on Turkana County’s commitment to the agreement on resource sharing as outlined in the MoU. He emphasized that the county would strengthen the One-Health program and joint livestock disease control through vaccination.
“We appreciate the resolutions made during the Joint High-Level Security Mission, which will enhance coordination and communication between the two countries and across the sub-national levels of governments and communities. We will continue to collaborate with the government of Uganda to promote peace and security in the region,” said DG Erus.
The Deputy Governor expressed gratitude to the leaders of Kenya and Uganda for their efforts to address the issues facing the communities in the border region. He stated that the Turkana people were committed to the promotion of peaceful coexistence and development in the region.
The Uganda team included Minister of Security Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, Minister for Karamoja Affairs Maria Goretti Kimono Kitutu, Commander of Land Forces Lt. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga, MPs Francis Adome (Moroto Municipality), Margaret Aleper (Kotido District), Lokii Abrahams (Jie County) among others.
The Kenya delegation included Principal Secretary of State Department for Internal Security Dr Raymond Omollo, Deputy Chief of Staff Josphat Nanok, MPs Protus Akuja (Loima), Emathe Namuar (Turkana Central), County Commissioner Jacob Ouma, MCAs Francis Ngimusia (Letea), Lawrence Lopayo (Lokiriama/Lorrengippi) and James Edung’ (Kalobeyei).
Senior County Government officials present included County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, Directors Geoffrey Apedor (Peace) and Chris Eregae (Administration) and Advisors Malachy Ekal (Political) and Ekiru Tulele (Legal).