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Tanzania, Uganda agreed to resolve border-related disputes

ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania and Uganda have agreed to collectively resolve challenges facing people living along the border of the two east African nations including illegal immigrants and security.

The agreement came at a meeting held in the Tanzania's northwestern region of Kagera - about 298 km from the Ugandan capital Kampala. The meeting involved high-ranking officials and experts from the two countries.

Tanzania's Deputy Permanent Secretary for the ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Dr Moses Kusiluka said the move is meant to cement bilateral relations between the two nations.

"There are no serious border disputes, but there are some complaints from people of the two countries...and those challenge are what we want to address them," Kusiluka said omn Sunday.

The official cited some of those challenges as security concerns and illegal immigrants.

"In some areas, you find some people when they are prohibited to take cattle in an area which before they used for pastures. And the reason is that the area is in another country. So, agreed to resolve some of these issues amicably, because our borders were being made by colonialists, though people of these nations have been living harmoniously even before colonialists," the official said.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ambassador Hassan Simba Yahaya said some of the challenges are resolved as per East African Community and international laws since 2013.

He said experts from both countries have worked on those challenges and "they discovered that some of the areas have a countless economic opportunities, including the wise-use of Kagera River would make the two countries harness hydro-power."

"In some areas, the border needs to be reviewed. And here the challenge might occur as there are people who believe that they are in Tanzania and others in Uganda. So, when the border is reviewed some might refuse to go to either part as they have been in a different country. But, awareness campaigns will be carried out for lasting solution on the matter."

Ugandan representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Kiingi Stephen said the meeting is a result of presidents of the two countries who agreed to address border related challenges for the benefit of people living in the border.

"Our interest is to see what we have agreed reach leaders and people at the grassroots level. This will bury the border related challenges and make our people live comfortably," said Stephen.

Mutukula is the official international border between Uganda and Tanzania, but there are many unregistered routes in the border separating the two countries.

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