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Ugandan Fishermen Complain of Attacks from their Congolese Counterparts on L. Edward.

He says most of the fishermen feel neglected by the Ugandan government, which should protect them from intruders.
The working relationship between Ugandan fishermen and their Congolese counterparts on Lake Edward in Rubirizi district continues to worsen. The Ugandan fishermen accuse the Congolese of invading Ugandan waters, beating them and confiscating their fish catch and nets. Ibrahim Katongole, a fish monger says that he has been assaulted twice by the Congolese fishermen. He also accuses the Congolese fishermen of impounding his two boats and nets. Moses Kabondo, another fisherman feels betrayed saying the Congo has larger water bodies and wonders its nationals still invade Uganda waters and confiscate their property.

He says most of the fishermen feel neglected by the Ugandan government, which should protect them from intruders. Yokonia Baluku, the general secretary Kisenyi Beach Management Unit (BMU) says the Congolese fishermen have become a nightmare to their Ugandan counterparts. He says that they have recorded more than 50 cases involving attacks on Uganda fishermen by their Congolese counterpart on Lake Edward within less than year. Baluku says that as BMUs, they have tried their level best to establish a good working relationship but in vain.

He says that they have signed memorandums with their Congolese counterparts but the fishermen have refused to abide the agreements. It is estimated that Uganda has got only 25% of the L. Edward waters while DRC takes 75%. On the lake, Ugandans have got only 250 boats while Congolese are estimated to have over 1000 boats. There are four landing sites on L. Edward on Ugandan side that include Kazinga, Kisenyi, Kasenyi and Katunguru. On several occasions, the department of fisheries at Rubirizi district has arrested Congolese fishermen, who are later released when taken to court according to the district fisheries officer Anthony Rubeihayo. He says there is need to introduce Marine patrols and facilitate them to end invasion of foreigners on Ugandan waters.

Recently, an army detach was established at Kisenyi landing site. But fisher mongers complain that they have not helped against the Congolese fishermen who manhandle them. But the UPDF officer in charge of Kisenyi landing site detach Lt. Sulaiman Musisi said that there is no way they can chase the Congolese from the lake.

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