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Congolese militiamen rob 19 boat engines on Lake Albert

Julius Hakiza, Albertine Region Police Spokesperson confirmed report.

Hoima, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Suspected armed Congolese militiamen have again raided the Lake Albert waters in Hoima district, robbing 19 boat engines. The attack occurred at around 3 am on Sunday morning near Kaiso landing site in Kabaale sub-county, Hoima district.

It is alleged that the armed militiamen dressed in DRC military uniform raided the lake and placed several fishermen at gunpoint, and ordered them to surrender the boat engines to them.

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region Police Spokesperson told Uganda Radio Network on Sunday afternoon that although security teams were notified by the affected fishermen, it was too late for them to pursue the suspected militiamen because they had already fled and crossed to DRC. But he adds that Ugandan authorities are already engaging counterparts in Congo to solve the recurring problem.

Fred Mujuni, the chairperson of the Kaiso landing site fishing community says currently, they are overwhelmed by the increasing attacks by suspected Congolese militiamen yet the government has kept a deaf ear despite several pleas to have them assisted.

The raid comes barely a week after sixteen Ugandan fishermen were abducted by suspected militiamen while carrying out fishing activities on the Lake Albert near Kaiso landing site in Hoima district. The four-armed militiamen raided the lake on March 14, 2021, and held the fishermen at gunpoint before ordering them to surrender their possessions.

The militiamen also robbed four fishing boats, four boat engines and several sets of fishing nets before crossing back to DRC with the loot. The arrested fishermen were detained at Tchomia landing site in  Ituri Province in the Eastern part of DRC, until their release on Saturday. Each of them allegedly paid USD 50 to secure their release.

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