By Isaac Mugera –

H.E. The President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and H.E. the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta have launched a major program to address the peace and development challenges facing people along the border areas of North Eastern Uganda and North Western Kenya.

The Program code named, Cross-Border Programme for Sustainable Peace and Development was launched at Naitakwae Grounds, in Moroto town, Karamoja Sub Region, on Thursday, 12th September 2019.

Presidents; Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya after the signing ceremony in Moroto Town.

The Programme will focus on the Turkana and West-Pokot peoples in Kenya and the Karamojong in Uganda. The main objective of the programme is to accord communities on the Uganda and Kenya sides of the border, opportunities for better cooperation, close coordination and peaceful co-existence as well as bridging isolation gaps to improve their livelihoods and socio-economic conditions for sustainable peace and development.

It is designed to increase non-violent inter-ethnic interactions and reduce tensions over access to resources such as water and pasture. The programme will also eliminate illegal flow of small arms and light weapons to the region and empower Local Governments to prevent conflict, and develop rapid response mechanisms and promote sustainable peace.

To cement the programme, an MOU was signed between both governments by the Ministers; Hon. John Byabagambi of Karamoja Affairs in Uganda, and Hon. Eugine Wamalwa (Centre), the Minister of Devolution in Kenya.

Ministers; John Byabagambi of Uganda and Eugine Wamalwa of Kenya sign the MOU for Cross-Border Coperation. Looking on (right) is the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Ms. Christine Guwatudde Kintu.

While addressing the gathering, President Yoweri Museveni expressed gratitude to the good cooperation that exists between both countries and assured that the programme will go a long way in cementing the same.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said that his government will ensure compliance to the MOU commitments to ensure that the programme is a success.

The PS, OPM, Ms. Christine Guwatudde Kintu looks on as Min. John Byabagambi signs the MOU for Cross-boarder Cooperation