Ugandan authorities on Wednesday arrested two Kenyan clerks who were registering voters on Migingo Island.
Standard Media reports that the two Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) clerks were accused of being in Uganda without permission i.e trespassing.
The Kenyan security team that informed their Ugandan counterparts of the IEBC plans, before the incident, had cleared George Odhiambo and Wilkister Alao.
Standard reports a brief standoff between Kenyan and Ugandan security personnel, who are said to have cocked their guns ready to defend their respective territories.
“The locals were jovial and jammed a queue in a short time, and we started registering them. After registering five people, we were called to the Beach Management Unit Ugandan office,” Odhiambo told Standard.
He said Denis Tolit, who heads the Ugandan force on the island, told them orders from “above” had reversed the earlier consent and they were not needed on the island.
This prompted the officer in-charge of Border Patrol Marine Team Mohamed Ngome of Kenya Police to intervene.
Sgt Ngome reinstated the polling desk but immediately after that Sgt Tolit ordered his officers ‘to get ready for war’.
He called for the immediate arrest of Ngome and the clerks for disobeying Ugandan authorities.
They were locked up for hours, later released and kicked off the island.
Uganda and Kenya continue to dispute over the ownership of Migingo.