The Ugandan government has sued Kenya at the East Africa Court of Justice, seeking legal redress in the disputed oil importation deal.
According to court documents submitted through their Attorney General, Uganda claimed that Kenya had barred the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) from granting it a licence to import oil through Mombasa Port.
Yoweri Museveni’s administration further seeks to cut off Kenyan Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) from importing fuel on behalf of Uganda.
“The complete reliance and dependency on Kenyan OMCs to import and supply petroleum products to Uganda have exposed the Republic of Uganda to supply vulnerabilities resulting in an avoidable increase in fuel pump prices,” court documents submitted by Uganda read.
Oil tanks at the Kenya Pipeline Company.
The East African country further stated that it was within its rights to import oil through the Kenya Pipeline Limited Company (KPA) pipeline systems as agreed in the government-to-government oil deal signed by Kenya in 2023.
Following previous agreements, Kenya had agreed to back Uganda’s policy to import and supply petroleum products for their market through the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC).
Actualization of the proposed policies was however delayed, as UNOC failed to submit the required documents as directed by EPRA.
Uganda had further requested a waiver of the requirements, stating that they were unnecessary, as the imported products were not destined for Kenya.
Further justifying its right to import through the Mombasa port, the land-locked country argued that as provided under the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, they should, by all means, be allowed to access the port.
Earlier in December 2023, Uganda had threatened to import fuel with or without the importation license.
Museveni had on November 7 further accused Kenyan middlemen of inflating fuel prices, demanding that Uganda be certified as an Oil Marketing Company (OMC) in Kenya.
However, on January 1, he pledged to consult Ruto to address their diplomatic tiffs amicably rather than retaliate as pressured by Ugandan lawmakers.
Kenya is yet to respond to the lawsuit and it is yet to be clear whether Museveni vowing to reach out to Ruto yet suing Kenya in court may worsen the two countries relations.
President William Ruto together with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda at a meeting at State House Uganda on October 9, 2022.