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Kenya to build police station on lake island to quell tension

Kenya will establish a police station in one of the islands in Lake Victoria to protect fishermen from harassment by Ugandan security agents.

The decision to establish a security outpost in Remba Island, Homa Bay County, comes three days after representatives of both governments agreed to ease cross-border tensions that has rocked the fresh water lake.

County Commissioner Irungu Macharia and Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo on Thursday evening accompanied security chiefs in assessing the security situation on the island.

The police station is expected to boost the number of officers that serve Remba and neighbouring islands.

Macharia said more police officers had been posted to the island, but they were only waiting for construction of their houses.

“Our aim is to combat insecurity afflicting Kenyan fishermen in the neighbouring islands, too,” said Macharia.

Remba has a few Administration Police officers, who will now be joined by their regular service counterparts.

Ms Odhiambo gave Sh300,000 from the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) for the construction houses for newly posted officers.

“The Interior Cabinet Secretary should visit the islands to understand the problems affecting fishermen over the boundary (with Uganda) issue,” she said.

She asked the government to deploy naval police officers to the troubled islands to protect the Kenyan territory.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta should consider setting a naval base on one of the islands as a permanent solution to insecurity on this lake,” said Homa Bay County’s Lake Victoria Beach Management Unit chairman Edward Oremo.

Currently, fear and tension have gripped islands such as Remba, Ringiti, Kiwa and Migingo over harassment by Ugandan security officers.

The visit by security officials to Remba comes in the wake of arrest and detention of fishermen in the islands. Ugandan authorities has agreed to release 21 Kenyan boats they had captured.

Earlier this week, officials from both sides pledged to work harmoniously. They agreed to use Google maps to determine the limits of their operations.

Nyanza Regional Commissioner Mophat Kangi said that a meeting involving top officials from both sides was called in the wake of rising tensions that has also had a negative effect on fishing.

 

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