John Kato, a fisherman at Sebigoro landing site in Kikuube district, says the fate of the fishermen is unknown since they haven’t heard from them since Saturday. He wants the government to immediately intervene and compel the Congolese government authorities to set the fishermen free.
Fishermen in Hoima and Kikuube districts are demanding the
immediate release of their colleagues who were abducted by suspected Congolese
Militiamen from Lake Albert waters.
sixteen Ugandan fishermen were abducted by the militiamen at gunpoint near
Kaiso and Kijangi landing sites in Buseruka sub-county Hoima district and
Sebigoro landing site in Kabwoya sub-county Kikuube district in the wee hours
of last Saturday.
The gunmen ordered the fishermen to surrender their fishing gear
before robbing 20 engines and 20 fishing boats. The militiamen later crossed with the Ugandan
Fishermen and their loot to Tchomia landing site in Bunia district Ituri
province in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
They are now demanding for ransom to release
the fishermen. Now, fishermen in both districts have called for the unconditional
release of the fishermen by Congolese authorities. John Kato, a fisherman at Sebigoro landing site in Kikuube district, says the
fate of the fishermen is unknown since they haven’t heard from them since
He wants the government to
immediately intervene and compel the Congolese government authorities to set
the fishermen free.
//Cue in: “The government should…
Cue out:…them rescue them,”//
Fred Mujuni, the Chairperson Kaiso Landing Site Fishing Community, says the
attacks on Ugandan fishermen have persisted for long despite several peace
talks held between the two countries over Lake Albert. He wants both countries to demarcate their
boundaries to save Ugandan fishermen from persistent attacks by the Congolese.
Vincent Wanzala, a fisherman at Kijangi landing site in Hoima district, says he
fears for the life of the abducted fishermen, saying they could be killed if no
immediate action is taken by the Ugandan government to save them.
//Cue in: “Twe tuku saba…
Cue out:…Bantu byaitu babo,”//
Geoffrey Kumakech, the Buseruka Sub County LC 5 Councilor, says the situation on
the Lake Albert is out of their hands and needs the intervention of both
governments to handle the fragile situation. Richard Tabaro, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner, says they are
already in talks with the Congolese government authorities to secure the release
of the Ugandan fishermen and repatriate them.
Attacks by Congolese militia on
the Lake Albert waters have been rampant since 2018.
In April, two suspected Congolese militiamen were gunned
down on Lake Albert waters in Hoima district. The duo was gunned down in a
fire exchange between the militia and Uganda People’s Defense Forces- UPDF
soldiers. Five other militia members were arrested by the UPDF while on the