President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya gathered on Thursday 12th September for the signing of a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure sustainable peace and socio-economic transformation of the Turkana-Pokot-Karamoja region along the border of the two countries.
The event took place at the Naitakwae Playgrounds in Moroto, in the Ugandan side of the border, where Uganda’s Minister for Karamoja Affairs, John Byabagambi and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Devolution, Eugene Wamalwa signed the MoU for their respective governments.
The two governments signed the MoU with the main intention to improve peace and encourage cross-border trade by increasing non-violent inter-ethnic interactions and collaboration, reducing tensions and competition over accessing resources such as water and pasture, and eliminating illegal flow of small arms and light weapons to the regions.
The region is rich inarable landand minerals such as gold, limestone, uranium, marble, graphite, gypsum and iron ore but due to conflict among the pastoral communities in the region over shared water, pasture and cattle rustling, that has always been fuelled by readily available guns, these resources have remained untapped.
“This agreement will help us ensure long-lasting peace for our people. It is not only about peace but sustainable development,” said President Kenyatta.