KENYA – In a move that has reignited trade tensions between Uganda and its neighbors, Ugandan authorities have confiscated large shipments of fish originating from Kenya and South Sudan, en route to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The trucks, carrying fish worth approximately Sh210 million (US$1.6M), have been detained by the Uganda Fish Protection Unit (UFPU) at the Mpondwe border, causing significant concern among exporters.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has expressed strong opposition to this action, highlighting that it undermines a previous agreement between Nairobi and Kampala.

KNCCI President Erick Rutto addressed to Uganda’s Minister for Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, Francis Mwebesa, criticized the move as a violation of the terms established in a March 22, 2022, joint communiqué.

This incident is part of a broader context of recurring trade disputes between Kenya and Uganda.

Earlier this year, the tension escalated when Uganda initiated legal action against Kenya at the East African Court of Justice.

The legal challenge stemmed from Kenya’s refusal to provide its pipeline for the transfer of oil, an issue that has further strained bilateral relations.

The current conflict adds to a series of historical trade controversies, including a dispute over milk imports, with Kenya imposing restrictions on milk from Uganda.

Moreover, Uganda recently filed a case against Kenya after Nairobi denied a license to the Uganda National Oil Corporation (UNOC), a state-owned enterprise, to operate locally and handle fuel imports intended for Uganda.

Kenya’s refusal to grant this license in November of the previous year led Uganda to seek legal recourse last month, aiming for approval to manage its fuel imports independently.

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