MOROTO – President Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, September 12, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the cross border joint program for sustainable peace and development.
The MoU was funded by the European Union (EU) to a tune of USD 950,000 which is approximately UGX 3billion. The project targets three neighbouring pastoralist communities namely; Karimojong, West Pokot and Turkana of Kenya.
Among the key highlights in the signed MoU include: the two governments will jointly implement and coordinate in collaboration with the decentralized and /or devolved structures of the MoU’s objectives.
They will also be required to identify the cause and impacts of conflict so as to improve conflict prevention, management, resolution capacities of the communities.
Designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating integrated cross border programme to promote sustainable peace and inclusive economic growth in the two countries provided under a joint detailed framework to be agreed on and implemented by parities.
President Museveni while giving his remarks after the signing the MOU requested the EU to support the two countries in constructing the road that stretches from Moroto, Kenya to Ethiopia.
“My brothers the European Union am not saying you have the money but if we can speak one language and you be in position to help me work on that road within two years before my oil comes out it would be good because in the next coming few years from now I will be okay when my oil is out,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, said Kenyans and Ugandans are brothers and sisters and warned that border fights should not be tolerated.
He hailed President Museveni for hosting hundreds of Kenyan herders and thousands of their livestock’s describing it as great.
“Can we turn these borders into bridges that will not affect the co-existence of our people in Uganda and Kenya,” he said.
However, the signing of the MOU has been warmly welcomed by the three pastoral communities, despite their concerns on how the two governments will implement what is written in the MOU.
Patrick Imana, a member of Turkana County Assembly told PML Daily that the signing of the MOU between the two heads of state was long overdue but said the sustainability of the MOU stands hanging since the two governments depended on donor aid to fund the project.
“There is need for the two governments to put resources together to sustain the signed MOU otherwise it might fail if US President Donald Trump says no Money for Africa,” he said.
Mr. Joseph an elder and a resident of Rupa sub-county said they expected President Uhuru Kenyatta to have assured the people of Karamoja when his government will carry out the disarmament exercise of the armed Kenyan Turkana and West Pokot pastoralists.
“As long as Kenya does not remove guns from the Turkana and West Pokot the signing of this MOU will mean nothing,” he said.
Grace Nakung another resident said their problem as pastoralists in Karamoja is one group having guns while others are unarmed.
Peter Lomerinyang said the MOU’s implementation should start immediately and not wait for the campaign period.