The Migingo Island is one of the historical contested islands within Uganda. It lies within Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. This small acre is contested by both Kenya and Uganda. Both countries claim the tiny island as their territory.
Migingo Island covers less than half a football pitch but more than 500 people, according to the Ugandan police, live in less than 2,000 square meters area.
Uganda started to send armed police and marines to Migingo to tax fishermen and offer them protection against pirates in 2004 when the island was still barely inhabited.
The Kenyan fishermen began complaining that they were being harassed by the Ugandan forces for reasons that included illegal fishing in Ugandan waters. In response, the Kenyan government deployed marines to Migingo in a move that nearly brought the two nations to blows.
The Smallest War
As human settlement began to swell on the rocky island, Kenya and Uganda decided to create a joint committee to determine the border in 2016, relying on maps dating from the 1920s. However, nothing has come of the committee. In the meantime, the island is co-managed by both countries but tensions occasionally flare up with some local fishermen calling it Africa’s “smallest war”.