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Councilors Appeal over DRC Cross-Border Attacks on Fishermen

On several occasions, Ugandan fishermen on Lake Albert have suffered injury and losses when they are tortured, detained and their fishing gear confiscated by armed men suspected to be soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Audio 4

Two councilors from Kyangwali Sub County in Hoima district have called for government intervention to end the torture of Ugandan fishermen by armed men suspected to be soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They say that on several occasions, Ugandan fishermen on Lake Albert have suffered injury and losses when they are tortured, detained and their fishing gear confiscated by the armed men baseless grounds. 

Over two months ago, three Ugandan policemen were killed while responding to an illegal fishing incident at Mulango, on the Ugandan border with DRC. 

Councilors Dalson Tumusiime and Fiona Abdul say that Uganda risks losing more lives if nothing is done to prevent the situation from escalating.

The two, presented their petition through Dan Muhairwe, the Member of Parliament for Buhaguzi County.  Dalson Tumusiime, one of the councilors, says that fishermen from Buhuka are now operating in fear.

//Cue in.... “It is not.........

Cue out.....your boat.'//

Tumusiime faults the Ugandan government for ordering the release of DRC fishermen who are often arrested for illegalities in Uganda but does not take concrete steps to secure the release of Ugandan detained in DRC.

//Cue in... “Orders come......

Cue out.....go back.”//

Fiona Abdul, the councilor for Kondo parish says two more engines were been confiscated by DRC officials over the last one week.

//Cue in..... “so far there.....

Cue out....Ngondo parish.”//

Kirungi Kadiri the Hoima district LCV Chairperson says that the attacks are now beyond the mandate of the district authorities.  Kidiri says that the government of Uganda is now considering dialogue to end the conflict on the shared water resource.

//Cue out.... “With the Congolese.

Cue out.....way forward.”//

Meanwhile, MP Muhairwe asked the Uganda fishing communities to avoid revenge whenever such attacks arise.  

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