There have been many opinions, mainly Kenyan, on the disputed island of Mugingo. Many of the Kenyan commentatorsare urging their government to act more sternly to “reclaim” the Island. A well connected Ugandan told us that diplomacy will solve this problem eventually[ essentially because he argues that the two countries have bigger interests to protect] Unfortunately it seems more likely that if not resolved Mujingo has potential to project itself beyond its reality as a disputed fishing island. There is animosity in Kenya’s divided polity about the alleged involvement of Uganda in the disputed elections of 2007 and a carryover of that can be felt in the comments made about Mugingo. If the nationalistic rhetoric continues it will not only divert those who are trying to find a negotiated solution but cause other actors within Kenya’s divisive politics to affect the trend of the talks.
Its 30 years since Idi Amin was overthrown, an event which begun which a claim he made on territory in Tanzania and there are fresh examples of the danger of these territorial disputes- take Uganda and Congo over Rukwanzi Island. In the case of Mugingo the danger of adventurism seems likely to originate in Kenya.
Lets watch this space