Ugandan fishermen warned against fishing in DR Congo

Security officials in Hoima District have warned fishermen operating on shores of Lake Albert along the Uganda-DR Congo border not to cross the border line while fishing.

The Albertine regional Police spokesperson Julius Hakiza said: “We have done a community policing outreach where we have cautioned fishermen against going to the DRC side [of the lake] to fish or search for bodies of the deceased before informing the police.”

The warning follows the recent shooting by gunmen from DR Congo which left seven Ugandan fishermen dead. The deadly attack took place at Kaiso landing site in Hoima District on Saturday last week.

After depleting fish on some landing sites in Uganda, Mr Hakiza said some fishermen are crossing to DR Congo to look for fish.

It is reported that the victims had crossed the border to DR Congo to search for the colleague, Ozele Ali who had drowned in the water five days before.

The Kaiso LCI Chairman, Henry Irumba, said a team of fishermen received a call from DRC telling them that their friend had been discovered dead and they should go pick his body.

“When the fishermen arrived at Para landing site, an unidentified armed group shot at them, killing some of them instantly and some bodies are still in the water,” Mr Irumba said.

Mr Hakiza said as police, they have to first seek clearance before engaging themselves in the search for the bodies.

“Some fishermen are accusing us of not helping them in recovering bodies but we have told them that we cannot go in the water and cross the border without clearance from our headquarters, ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of foreign affairs,” he said.

Mr Hakiza added that a joint team from the ministries of foreign affairs, security and internal affairs will engage the Congolese government on matters of establishing a clear boundary in the lake.

When President Museveni was in Hoima District on Thursday to launch a bursary scheme for over 600 learners in the oil rich Albertine region, he warned Congolese against attacking Ugandans and promised to increase army deployments on Lake Albert and other lakes that are straddle Ugandan borders.

By Daily Monitor

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