[dehai-news] (Daily Nation, Kenya) Kenya plans to demarcate and survey all its international boundaries

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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Tue Mar 17 2009 - 07:36:07 EST

Kenya to carry border review

By LUCAS BARASAPosted Tuesday, March 17 2009 at 13:03

Kenya plans to demarcate and survey all its international boundaries to
avoid future conflicts, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula has said.

Mr Wetangula said the boundaries will be marked to beat an African Union
2010 deadline for countries in the continent to do so.

"In 2004, the AU Commission directed African countries to demarcate their
boundaries to avoid future disputes over boundaries."

He was speaking when he bade farewell to Chinese ambassador to Kenya Zhang
Ming, whose two and a half year tenure has ended, in his Nairobi office.

He added that it is under the same arrangement that has seen Nigeria and
Cameroon, Namibia and Botswana and Eritrea and Ethiopia iron out their
border rows.

Mr Wetangula said Kenya had only demarcated and surveyed its boundary with
Ethiopia and was yet to do so with Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan and at
the Indian ocean.

"We will now embark on the work," he said.

The instruments of survey and maps are to be deposited with the AU by 2010
and be later forwarded to the United Nations to forestall future conflicts
on boundaries.

According to the AU directive the African countries are supposed to conduct
joint surveys for the boundaries to be as they were in 1964 when the first
Organisation of African Unity meeting was held in Addis Ababa. The surveys
should also be as was in 2002 when the African Union was created.

African countries are supposed to put proper beacons long their boundaries.

Mr Wetangula’s announcement comes hot on the heels of a dispute between
Kenya and Uganda over the ownership of Migingo Island on Lake Victoria.

The minister who was among a Kenyan delegation that was in Kampala, Uganda
last week to resolve the row, said it was agreed that the two countries
conduct a joint survey and demarcation within two months.

"It is now up to the Ministry of Lands to execute the survey of the 937
kilometres long boundary," he said.

Historical documents including a 1926 one on Kenya/Uganda boundary, the 1963
Kenyan constitution and a 1995 Ugandan one are to be used in the survey and
demarcation, Mr Wetangula said.

Also agreed are that all security forces at Migingo be removed by end of
this week, fishermen from both Kenya and Uganda allowed to conduct their
business freely and that the matter be resolved through dialogue and
unnecessary conflicts avoided.

Asked if the Ugandan flag hoisted at the Island would also be removed, Mr
Wetangula said "the issue will be part of the settlement."

Africa has been dogged by border disputes both on land and, increasingly,
over maritime boundaries.

It is estimated that less than a quarter of Africa borders has been
delimited and demarcated.

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