Kenya and Uganda have begun negotiations to establish a one-stop border station in a bandit-infested region.
The border post, according to Kenya’s Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo, would facilitate travel and commerce between the two countries, as well as improvements in the cross-border road network and enhanced security and surveillance.
“Kenya is also eager to review and revise the agreement inked with Uganda in support of the cross-border program for sustainable peace and development in order to line with its new goals and growing concerns,” Omollo said in a statement made in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
The border area is mostly populated by the Turkana and Pokot ethnic groups of northwestern Kenya, as well as the Karamajong, an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders that live primarily in northeast Uganda.
The pastoralist groups have participated in banditry operations throughout the years, making the territory hazardous.
Yet, the two nations consider the inauguration of the border post as one of the ways to put an end to cattle rustling, or stock theft, an age-old custom that has been exploited by international criminal networks in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
Kenya, in addition to Uganda, has created additional one-stop border stations with Tanzania and Ethiopia.
According to Omollo, the gathering also discussed methods to address issues affecting fair resource sharing among pastoralist communities.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya’s commerce with Uganda was 44.6 billion shillings (approximately 353.63 million US dollars) in the first half of 2022, a 9 percent decrease.