Uganda, Congo Presidents to Hold Talks Over Border Dispute

KAMPALA, Uganda Aug 22, 2007 (Dow Jones)

The presidents of Congo and Uganda will hold talks in early September to resolve the border dispute over the Lake Albert valley where extensive oil exploration is taking place, the chief executive officer of the state-run Uganda Media Centre told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.

Fred Opolot said Uganda's Yoweri Museveni and Congo's Joseph Kabila will meet in Kampala. The border dispute resulted in confrontations between the two countries' armed forces in early August.

The border issue particularly affects Rukwanzi Island and the Semliki valley, located in exploration block 3A jointly owned by Dublin-listed Tullow Oil PLC (TQW.DB) and Heritage Oil Corp. (HOC.T) of Canada.

While Uganda says the colonial borders indicate that the island is in Uganda, Congo has had a military detachment on the island since the 1980s. Along the Semuliki valley, over the years, the river has kept shifting toward the Ugandan side as result of soil erosion, and Congo says that it is the natural boundary between the two countries. Officials with Uganda's Ministry of Lands estimate that in the last 20 years, the river could have shifted around five kilometers inside Uganda.

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